AT&T (NYSE:T) is offering over 17 million students discounted wireless data plans to help in closing the digital divide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has made learning from home a norm.
AT&T offering affordable data plans supporting learning from home
The company will offer free wireless data service to teachers, including free hotspots at K-12 schools, universities, and colleges to facilitate distance learning. Interestingly, teachers will only get one free service if 24 students get the discounted $15 plan to sign up.
Currently, over 50 million students in the US are learning from home. Still, around 17 million cannot take part because of a lack of internet connection or devices that support digital learning. As a result, AT&T moved to bridge this gap and facilitate learning through affordable wireless data plans and content filtering services for over 135,000 private and public bK-12 schools, universities, and colleges.
The offer runs until December 29, 2020, and schools can add new lines for students on a qualified unlimited data plan and content filtering for $15 per month. There is an option for a Moxee hotspot at no extra cost after bill credits. Since the teachers will only get free access if 24 students sign up, those that will not qualify can take advantage of the 25% discount on regular wireless data plans that the company announced in July.
AT&T commits $10 million to support “at risk“ students across the country
The carrier made a move alongside the $10 million pledge supporting “at risk” students with hotspots and internet access. In the coming weeks, they will invite non-profits and districts to apply for support. AT&T will also expand the availability of learning resources and tech-enabled resources to schools, teachers, students, and parents working across its resources that include WarnerMedia for support of the initiative.
Although the homework gap is not new, the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for remote learning has exacerbated the situation. The problem is a nationwide challenge that affects 1 in 3 color students and those in rural areas.