President Obama announced a new initiative today that will bring Internet access to more than a quarter million homes.
Funded by local governments and tech corporations, ConnectHome will bring broadband service to 28 cities, affecting a nearly 200,000 children who currently lack online access at home.
“While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends,” White House officials said in a statement.
Eight Internet providers, including Sprint and Google Fiber, have partnered with the initiative and will offer their services at a reduced rate in the yet-to-be-announced communities. Additionally, companies like Best Buy will provide technical support to residents who receive the services.
White House officials said that they hope the increased access will help narrow the achievement gap by providing low-income students with the at-home resources they need to successfully complete their homework.
“The stakes are clear,” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro said at a press conference today. “Families living in the 21st century need 21st century tools to thrive.”
President Obama hasn’t announced when ConnectHome will be introduced.