While it was announced briefly during the President’s State of the Union address last week, Associated Press reports today that Apple along with other tech companies are pledging around $750 million in an initiative to bring high-speed internet to schools. Called ConnectED, the program was officially announced by the White House today with the goal of connecting “99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years.” For its part, Apple is reportedly providing around $100 million in iPads and other equipment:
Apple is pledging $100 million in iPads, computers and other tools. AT&T and Sprint are contributing free Internet service through their wireless networks. Verizon is pitching in up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions. And Microsoft is making Windows available at discounted prices and offering 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office software.
During his State of the Union address, Obama said that the program was receiving support from the FCC as well as Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon to hook up approximately 15,000 schools and 20 million students within two years.
President Obama: "In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, we should demand it in our schools." #ConnectED—
The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 04, 2014
White House Live (@WHLive) February 04, 2014