Cox Communications today announced a two-year extension of its participation in Connect2Compete, the broadband adoption program that offers discounted high speed Internet service to low-income families with children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program. Cox pledged $15 million in support of broadband adoption initiatives through 2016.
"Connecting youth to technology is a core value of Cox Communications, and has guided our community investment initiative for decades. But in today’s digital economy, the Internet is a critical educational resource for America’s youth and their families,” said Cox President Pat Esser. “Together with Connect2Compete, we are making great progress in bringing Internet service to more low-income families in the communities we serve.”
Cox was the first company to roll out the Connect2Compete program, piloting the initiative for the FCC in San Diego in 2012. Cox launched the program nationally in April 2013. Today, more than 15,000 families have enrolled in Cox’s program nationwide, bringing broadband service to their homes and helping close the digital divide.
“The success of our San Diego pilot helped pave the way for our national roll out of Connect2Compete, which means even more families can take advantage of this program to further their children’s education and opportunities,” said Dave Bialis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cox Communications’ California markets, which also include Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara.
In San Diego, Connect2Compete is available to more than 500 schools within 32 school districts in the Cox footprint. Cox has partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) to communicate the program to families, Computers 2 San Diego Kids as the local computer supplier, and the San Diego Police Foundation and Able-Disabled Advocacy to provide digital training for families.
The effort ties in to SDCOE’s Strategic Plan, which emphasizes the need to develop initiatives that encourage digital literacy for all students. With internet access, students are able to do more school work from home, participate in online lessons and access information more easily.
“Cox’s program has demonstrated the powerful impact a company can have in its local communities,” said Zach Leverenz, Chief Executive Officer of EveryoneOn. “The company’s commitment to closing the digital divide and willingness to expand the low-income eligibility programs to encourage more households to take advantage of its offers serves as a model to the industry.”
EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet service and computers, and free digital literacy courses accessible to all unconnected Americans. Connect2Compete (C2C) is EveryoneOn’s flagship program for K-12 students and provides affordable Internet and devices to students and families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program.