Cox just came out with the news that they’re investing big in reducing the digital divide via cooperated efforts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative. Cox will be stretching its low-cost Connect2Compete offering to HUD-assisted households where there are school children, inside its current service area comprising 18 states. This will be the first time a provider extends their offerings under the ConnectHome umbrella through its whole network trail. The investment from the company is set to change the lives of nearly 250,000 students around the country, who are living in HUD-assisted homes.
Cox President Pat Esser made this announcement along with HUD Secretary Julián Castro, at the Phoenix Landing Apartments complex in Phoenix, Arizona. Mayor Greg Stanton was also present, as were a number of landing residents and community supporters. After the announcement, Cox hosted an enrollment event where residents get the chance to register for the service, and plan their dates for installation. Meanwhile, Cox also let out that it would be donating a new Cox Technology Center so that all residents would be able to gain access to the internet.
During the announcement, Esser remarked that community leaders are important insofar as they identify the advantage of students who have internet access that would allow them to compete in the classroom as well as in their careers. “Technology and the Internet play an increasingly critical role in the education of our youth. Yet, students cannot take the Internet home in their backpacks,” he said, and added that the company is “committed to staying at the forefront of the Internet adoption movement.” Strong partnerships, he says, will enable them to “build more bridges to enable all families to cross the digital divide, regardless of where they live.”
It has been one of the goals of the Obama Administration to expand high speed broadband to all Americans, and last July, President Obama and HUD’s Julián Castro announced ConnectHome as a program to extend broadband access, and make it affordable, to families that live in HUD-assisted housing. ConnectHome lets ISPs, non-profits and the private sector to offer broadband internet, technical training, digital literacy programs, as well as devices for residents. Right now, two-thirds of residents have a computer, while less than half get internet. The ConnectHome initiative seeks to deliver high-speed Internet at home for students, much the same way as in classrooms.