& cplSiteName &

Carriers Back Barack's ConnectED Broadband Plan With Big Bucks

Dan Jones
2/5/2014
50%
50%

The big 3 US carriers, as well as several other tech giants, are among the companies backing the US president's ConnectED broadband education program to the tune of more than $750 million, the White House announced Tuesday.

President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative on January 29. The public-private partnership aims to bring high-speed Internet to more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students during the next two years to help improve their connected experience. (See Better Broadband Isn't Enough for Schools.)

This Tuesday, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said it will pledge over $100 million to provide middle-school students with free Internet connectivity for educational devices over their wireless network for three years. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is pledging up to $100 million in cash and commitments for the program. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is pledging "free wireless service for up to 50,000 low-income high school students over the next four years, valued at $100 million."

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), meanwhile, pledged $100 million in iPads, MacBooks, and other products to help learning in disadvantaged schools. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) says it will deeply cut the price of its Windows operating system for all public schools, making devices more affordable for these establishments.

The government is also contributing money to the program. The US Department of Agriculture is making $10 million in distance-learning grants for rural schools. There will also be a $2 billion down payment on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to connect 20 million more students to broadband, starting in 2014.

You can see the White House fact sheet on the ConnectED initiative here.

Light Reading already has a lively debate on the uses of broadband in education here.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/10/2014 | 6:07:51 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
We saw the same thing with PCs in the classroom in past decades. Schools that new how to take advantage of the new technology made good use of it. Other schools just threw technology at problems, and wasted time and money. 
RitchBlasi
100%
0%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/6/2014 | 10:34:27 AM
Stand corrected, I guess...
Another good point.  To me, calling Facebook, Twitter, etc. social networks is sort of an oxymoron.  Our younger generation is actually becoming socially inept...all communication being done using devices.  I guess the new way of handling the birds-n-the-bees conversation will be done using text, graphs, and images sent over the air.

And yes, just last night, I bought something and the bill came to $10.23.  I handed the young girl $11.25 and she looked at me like I had two heads.  Her mother came over and explained what she had to do.  Pretty sure that is the result of tech in the classroom.

But, if done/used correctly and consistently, I think tech will help out.  It seems every generation gets smarter - but they sure as hell can't play stickball the way I did in Brooklyn!

 

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/6/2014 | 10:05:41 AM
Re: Education
We (the royal, society we) have been completely sold on the idea that technology makes us smarter and better. So of course we will project that misconception onto the educational system. Here's a tablet, kid -- now go figure out what Pythagoras was going on about.
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/6/2014 | 9:47:19 AM
Education
Good points all. I've had experience in the past with initiatives like this that fall by the wayside. 10 years ago, teachers weren't as adept at accepting and using technology as the younger breed today. But the tenured folks are still around and hopefully will see that not using technology today will most certainly disadvatage our children when others in the world embrace it.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/5/2014 | 6:54:07 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
The sad thing is that it's the schools that need the most help who have the least chance of having the expertise to know how to benefit from free devices and bandwidth. 

I have a daughter and many friends in education and at upscale suburban schools, the technology becomes a seamless part of the learning process while at rural, cash-starved schools, the teacher gets a used Apple laptop and a brand new smart board that is Windows-based. 

And yes, that's a real-life story. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/5/2014 | 6:03:16 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
Carol - "I'm waiting for someone to say how they are going to help teachers and schools use all this connectivity and these new devices."

Exactly. These devices will be wasted if they end up being used ineffectively, or sitting in a closet somewhere, or hacked (as happened in LA and elsewhere). Several school districts reported problems with tablet deployments.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/5/2014 | 6:01:02 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
I don't have a problem with companies benefitting from doing good. 

However, I wonder if this is a case of throwing money and technology at a problem for which those things are not solutions. Kids really need dedicated teachers. 
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/5/2014 | 1:32:54 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
I'm waiting for someone to say how they are going to help teachers and schools use all this connectivity and these new devices.

 
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
2/5/2014 | 12:57:15 PM
Re: Culling the future market?
Hard to judge if its window dressing or actual help right away I suspect. I understand your cynicism though.
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/5/2014 | 12:55:33 PM
Culling the future market?
First, let me say that I think it is great these companies are ponying up millions-of-dollars for this program...by the way, they've done these things in the past...supporting education.  But one can't help be cynical, right?  Is this simply the ante to collect on a bigger pot later on?  There is a time limit on the dollar commitment, and then what happens?  Also, all these kids who are growing up not knowing what a wired connection is will remember what store to go into to buy devices and services in the future.

This may be altruistic giving at its best and I am just being a dirtbag.  :-)

 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Cloudy With a Chance of Automation: Telecom in 2018
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/12/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed