Yesterday, Sprint opened up donations for the 1Million Project—an initiative to provide one million low-income high school students with mobile devices and high speed Internet access. The Pew Research Center reports that five million American families with school-aged children do not have Internet access at home. This leaves children severely disadvantaged in an era when 70% of teachers are assigning online homework.
“Education is the foundation for our society to prosper, and the Internet is an incredibly powerful tool for learning,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO of Sprint. “But it’s a huge problem in America that we have 5 million households with children that lack Internet connections. Those kids have a huge disadvantage and we are failing them. All of us at Sprint are committed to changing this by providing 1 million students in need with free devices and free wireless connections.”
It’s a massive goal to take on, one that cannot be achieved alone. That’s why Sprint partnered with nonprofit organizations EveryoneOn and My Brother’s Keeper for additional support. It’s worth noting that in 2013, President Barack Obama launched a similar initiative called ConnectED. That later led to the formation of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that he founded back in 2014.
“We’re excited that Sprint has committed to provide 1 million disadvantaged high school students with four years of free devices and connectivity,” said Jeff Zients, Director of the National Economic Council at The White House. “This will make a huge difference in their lives, and will help support the President’s ConnectED and My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives.”
Students who are eligible for the program will receive one of the following: a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or hotspot device. They will also receive three gigabytes worth of high-speed LTE data per month. If the student exceeds those three gigabytes, unlimited data will be available at 2G speeds. Students can stay on the program for up to four years.