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New York: ConnectED NY to provide free internet access for 50,000 economically disadvantaged students

Christian Fernsby |
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Reimagine New York Commission announced the launch of ConnectED NY.

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Topics: NEW YORK   

That is an emergency fund to provide approximately 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts with free internet access through June 2022.

Funding will be provided by Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation and the program will be managed by Digital Promise, a non-profit which is dedicated to closing the digital learning gap.

The ConnectED NY fund will help close the connectivity gap by providing free mobile hotspots and monthly data plans to approximately 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts from May 2021 through June 2022.

In unique circumstances where students cannot access reliable internet service through a mobile hotspot, fixed internet options will be made available.

The program will serve students in the most economically-disadvantaged school districts, defined as school districts where the percent of students that are economically disadvantaged exceeds the state average.

School districts will work with Digital Promise, AT&T, and other internet service providers as needed to identify eligible students who either do not have at-home internet access or do not have access to sufficient broadband speeds to participate in remote learning.

Hotspots and data plans will be purchased directly by the ConnectED NY fund from AT&T, so there is no financial obligation for students and their families.

In circumstances where fixed internet is required, the Program will work with districts and fixed internet service providers to ensure there is no cost to students and their families.

ConnectED NY is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

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