Verizon Public Sector and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are partnering on a new digital inclusion program designed to help close the digital divide in Massachusetts, eight neighboring states and the District of Columbia.
Verizon will provide turnkey connectivity, devices and other solutions to eligible families who don’t have internet access.
This is the second such program that Verizon has entered into with a state agency. This and a similar program with the Georgia Department of Education are designed to provide low-income residents with fast, simple internet access.
State agencies or not-for-profit organizations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. can participate in the Massachusetts program. To be eligible, consumers in these states (and Washington, D.C.) must participate in the National School Lunch Program, be Pell Grant recipients or be members of households with a household income that is lower than 135% of the income designated by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
This Massachusetts program is modeled after the Verizon Distance Learning program, which provided access to reliable internet connections and solutions for more than 38 million students in 40 states and the District of Columbia during the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, we worked with state and local governments to provide connectivity for students shifting to online education as quickly as possible,” said Jennifer Chronis, senior vice president, Verizon public sector, in a prepared statement about the Verizon digital inclusion news.
“A significant digital divide persists, and our mission is to help narrow the connectivity gap by providing the easiest way for states and non-profits to get families online.”
The effort follows the launch of the Verizon Innovative Learning program last month.