UScellular Building 5G

UScellular announced this week it is offering free mobile hotspots and service to nonprofits that support youth after the school day through its After School Access Project.

The carrier plans to donate up to $13 million in hotspots and service to connect up to 50,000 youth in 2022. Organizations that qualify as 501c3 can contact UScellular to apply for funds for the hotspots and related services.

To be eligible, the nonprofits must:

  • Operate within UScellular’s service area
  • Focused on kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Not be a school or government entity

U.S. Cellular cited the “homework gap” as the driving force behind the effort. More than one-third (35%) of low-income households lack any access to broadband service at home, according to published reports.

The After School Project is an expansion of previous hotspot donations that the company made to address connectivity needs during the pandemic.

“Since 2009, UScellular has donated more than $20.8 million along with countless experiences and technology items to nonprofit organizations across the country,” the company wrote in a press release about the UScellular free hotspots.

Beyond those efforts, late last year the carrier introduced its “Learn with US” informational resource microsite.

“When we heard the stories of youth who couldn’t get access to reliable internet for their schoolwork, we knew we had to act,” said Laurent C. Therivel, president and CEO of UScellular, in a prepared statement. “Connecting people and communities is our mission and the After School Access Project is just one way that we’re helping ensure students have the reliable access they need to grow and pursue their dreams.”

Hotspot devices will be shipped to nonprofit organizations within 6 to 8 weeks of an approved, completed application.

“Closing the digital divide will require the involvement of many organizations and that is why we encourage nonprofits working with youth in after school programs to apply and use this resource to enhance the important work they are already doing,” Therivel added.

Join the Conversation

7 thoughts on “UScellular Offers Free Hotspots, Service to Nonprofits to Support Education

  1. I am with a 501c3 foundation for a small town library. It is a very low income town and the library provides after school programs and summer reading programs for the youth. Our friends Foundation applies for grants and has fundraisers to make the programs possible. How do I apply for the hot spot program? This would be amazing for our community. Many youth sit outside the library on a bench to do homework with our wifi when the library is closed. The hotspots would help them at home.

    1. We are also a very small rural town library that is considered Tax Exempt Quasi-Government, we do not have a 501c-3. But many of our patrons operate with U.S. Cellular services. We would love to bring access to our families within this grid.

    1. this would be a big help for me cause i don’t have a car and when school was close cause of the snow it was hard to get on my wifi.

  2. this would be a big help for me cause i don’t have a car and when school was close cause of the snow it was hard to get onmy wifi

  3. We are also a very small rural town library that is considered Tax Exempt Quasi-Government, we do not have a 501c-3. But many of our patrons operate with U.S. Cellular services. We would love to bring access to our families within this grid.

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