Sprint, White House to provide broadband device, service to students

About 1 million high school students could receive a free broadband-enabled device and free Internet through Sprint's network as part of a joint program between Sprint and the White House. File Photo by dotshock/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) — The White House and the Sprint Corp. plan to provide 1 million high school students who lack home Internet access a new device and four years of broadband service.

“Since 70 percent of teachers are now assigning Internet-based homework, connectivity isn’t a luxury — it’s an absolute necessity for students,” Sprint said in a statement. “Nearly half of 14- to 18-year-olds report using a library computer primarily for homework. Students lacking home Internet access are cut off from a future of possibilities.”

Schools drafted in the program in low-income communities will be able to choose from tablets, smartphones, broadband-enabled laptops or Wi-Fi hotspot devices to give students. Sprint will provide 3 GB per month of free high-speed LTE data on its network, while unlimited data will be available at 2G speeds if data usage exceeds 3 GB in a month.

About 200,000 students each year for the next five years will be connected to the program, with each student receiving a free device and free Internet service for up to four years while in high school.

A pilot for the program will begin in January. Sprint plans to launch the full program — called The 1Million Project — at the start of the 2017-18 school year.


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