In brief: The Covid-19 pandemic has caused problems for us all, but teachers and students have arguably faced more disruptions than most. Many schools have switched to online teaching for the foreseeable future, which is an issue for students and teachers without reliable internet access. AT&T hopes to close this "homework gap" by providing cheap (or free) data to those who need it most.
Across more than 135,000 public and private schools (K-12, specifically), AT&T will begin offering steep discounts on wireless data plans. Schools that wish to participate in this limited-time deal can migrate their existing AT&T wireless data lines (or activate new ones) for just $15 a month, per student.
These new, cheaper lines will offer unlimited data, as well as a kid-oriented "content filtering" service at no additional cost. If needed, school administrators can opt to purchase an AT&T Moxee hot spot as well, which also comes at no cost -- "after bill credits," anyway.
The more student lines a school activates, the better off they will be. For every 24 qualified activations, the school gets a free line for teachers with the "same services" that students get. That might not seem like much, but if your school has hundreds upon hundreds of students, and dozens of teachers, the savings could add up pretty quickly.
As we said before, this offer isn't permanent. School administrators have until December 29, 2020 to add at least one eligible line. Fortunately, one line is all it takes to lock in the offer for a full two years: the promotional pricing ends on December 29, 2022. Up until that date, schools are free to add as many additional lines as they'd like at the same $15/month price point.
AT&T isn't stopping with cheap data. In addition to this program, the internet giant will make a "$10 million commitment" to support at-risk students who have limited or no access to the internet.
That commitment will come in the form of free wi-fi hotspots and free AT&T internet service. The company says interested school districts and non-profits throughout the US can apply for this support sometime in the "coming weeks."
Masthead credit: Maria Symchych