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With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile says it has zeroed in on a bold goal of helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn.
Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO, says that the carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.
The carrier is also expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.
T-Mobile previously committed to kicking off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile says it is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.
Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.
The carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with more data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option, or a fully unlimited plan; every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district.
“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind,” Sievert says. “We’re going to help open a lot of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed.”
The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.
“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” says Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students.”
For more information about Project 10Million, or to sign up a school district for the program, go to t-mobile.com/p10m.
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