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Sprint to provide one million underprivileged students with free Internet access, devices

By Shawn Knight
Oct 11, 2016
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  1. On more than one occasion in the presence of friends, I’ve wondered aloud how we ever got by without the power of the Internet at our fingertips. Indeed, it’s hard to fathom not having a constant link to the Internet at all times but for millions of high school students in the US, it’s a very real scenario.

    According to the FCC’s Broadband Task Force, at least 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires access to the Internet. That’s a problem when roughly five million families in the US with school-aged children don’t have broadband access at home.

    Given the numbers, it’s easy to see how a lack of connectivity at home – an obstacle sometimes referred to as the digital divide – is putting many students at a disadvantage.

    Sprint, the nation’s fourth largest wireless provider, is looking to do something about it by providing students from lower income families with a reliable connection to the Internet at home courtesy of a multi-year initiative known as the 1Million Project.

    In partnership with non-profit agencies like EveryoneOn and My Brother’s Keeper, Sprint will provide qualifying students with a free smartphone, tablet, laptop or hotspot device and 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month for a period of up to four years while in high school. Those that receive a smartphone will also get unlimited domestic calls and texts while on Sprint’s network and can use the phone as a hotspot.

    Beginning in January 2017, the program will be tested in seven to 10 markets before a nationwide rollout that’ll take place at the start of the 2017 school year.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,475   +2,034

    I'm sure over here in Africa ~70-80% of the continents population have never had any access to the internet. They don't know what it is so why should it bother them?
     
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,660   +767

    It is amazing the ways we choose to waste money without addressing the most simple necessities. I think those kids would be a lot happier with just a decent meal each day for the next year or two and not have to worry about finding a plug to recharge the blasted thing!
     
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    You are missing the point, more access means more opportunities, more knowledge to the kids, even if some or most use it to watch cat memes all day long, there will be people truly benefiting from this.
     
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 368   +320

    So will sprint randomly try to pull coverage for these the way they tried to cut off all those rural schools a couple years back?
     
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,035   +269

    I hate to say it because the gesture is commendable IMO, but this is probably more of an attempt to win future customers rather than a truly altruistic offering.
     
  7. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Booster Posts: 200   +44

    I don't see how YOU"RE wasting money, unless you're a Sprint investor. This is a way Sprint can look good, get it's customer count up, and maybe retain these same kids when they hit the job market.
     

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