Cox Communications' President and CEO Pat Esser announced in a live press conference today that Cox will pledge $60 million over the next year to close the digital learning gap. Esser urged in the press conference the need for collaboration to solve the digital divide.
"Our commitment remains strong, but we cannot do this alone. We need to keep partnering with cities, school districts, counties and community-based organizations to get families connected," said Esser. "Connection is more important than ever before, especially for kids."
Esser also announced that Cox will be extending the company's offer to new customers that qualify for the company's Connect2Compete program. New customers that sign up for the program before the end of the year will receive the company's low-cost internet for two months free, and $9.95 per month thereafter. Cox's outdoor Wifi hotspots will also remain open to keep families connected during this time of need.
The press conference included Jim Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the Superintendent of The Clark County School District in Nevada, Dr. Jesus Jara, Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada and President and CEO of the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Michael Powell.
As school districts work to connect teachers and students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Cox says it has launched its CARES Act Solutions for Education to help school districts as they implement virtual learning during the pandemic.
The CARES Act funds can be used by school districts for purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all K-12 students and for additional authorized activities.
Cox offers a variety of connectivity solutions to districts that are subsidizing internet to better support students and educators as they implement virtual learning and teleworking in their homes.
Cox CARES Act Solutions for Education include:
- Connect2Compete provides internet for low-income families with a K-12 child participating in a government-assisted program. Connect2Compete supports eligible students and their families by providing low-cost home internet with Wifi and access to the Cox Digital Academy, a free online resource hub that connects families with educational videos, tutorials, games and more. Eligible participants signing up before December 31, 2020 receive two months of free service and pay $9.95 monthly going forward. Families can qualify for Connect2Compete easily from anywhere whether on their mobile device or desktop by visiting http://www.cox.com/caresact.
- New CARES Act-specific Cox Internet speed are available in two levels: CARES Starter Internet offers speeds of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps at $30 per month, and CARES Essential Internet offers speeds of 50 Mbps/3Mbps at $40 per month. Both come with free, easy-connect options and include equipment.
- Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU) Bulk Wifi is ideal for schools and student housing. Provided by the property owner, speeds and pricing for this option vary based on the needs of the property.
- Cox Business Managed Wifi for educational systems gives participating students, teachers and staff a strong Wifi internet connection to enrich their experience and enhance productivity. This fully managed technology supports private and guest Wifi networks and includes all speed tiers. Pricing varies but typically costs $60 a month per access point.
"Hundreds of schools have worked with us to connect students, teachers and faculty through our CARES Act Solutions for Education," said Ashley Perkins, Vice President of Cox Business. "Not only have we created affordable options to ensure connectivity, but we've developed a process to quickly pre-qualify students to make it easy for the schools. We realize each school has unique challenges, and we're ready to partner to ensure these schools' students can harness the power of an internet connection."
There are no term commitments or cancellation fees for any Cox CARES Act solution, and flexible payment options are available. To learn more about the Cox CARES Act Solutions for Education, visit http://www.cox.com/caresact.