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AT&T and Connected Nation deliver on commitment to provide 35,000 hotspots and free internet service to help vulnerable students
[August 11, 2021]

AT&T and Connected Nation deliver on commitment to provide 35,000 hotspots and free internet service to help vulnerable students

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading nonprofit Connected Nation has completed the deployment of 35,000 hotspots. Made possible by a contribution from AT&T – these hotspots, equipped with more than a year of free internet service – will help some of the most vulnerable students across the country.

It's been exciting to create positive change in the lives of students who were struggling to access their classrooms.

"AT&T made a $10 million commitment in 2020 to help our nation's most at-risk children access remote learning and the company has delivered on that promise," said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. "The AT&T Connected Learning program is not only putting devices and services into the hands of students, but it's focused on helping those who are facing some of the most difficult challenges that a child could endure —such as living in foster care or experiencing homelessness. It's been exciting to work with AT&T to create positive change in the lives of these very dserving students who were struggling to access their online classrooms."

AT&T committed $10 million to respond to the need for increased at-home connectivity for students during the pandemic and worked with Connected Nation to make it happen. The program officially opened in November 2020 to nonprofits and schools seeking to help their most vulnerable students.  A list of awardees, including 124 schools and nonprofits spanning 26 states, was announced in February 2021.

"For years, AT&T has prioritized its commitment to education, and we continue our focus by helping to narrow the homework gap. Doing so begins with providing access to connectivity and devices – particularly for our nation's most vulnerable students," said Mylayna Albright, AVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, AT&T. "Collaborating with Connected Nation enables us to better identify how and where we can make the biggest impact so students most at-risk can get the tools they need to succeed."

The last of the 35,000 hotspots were delivered on August 5, 2021— completing the promise to provide access to remote learning to as many students as possible.  

"We were giving out computers and people were constantly asking me if we had a way to get low-cost or free internet to go along with their devices," said Dylan Zajac, Founder and Executive Director, Computers 4 People. "It's one of the things we really need to help close the Digital Divide in the country, so I was so happy to get a response from AT&T and Connected Nation for this program and help local students."

Some organizations opted to delay their hotspot and internet service delivery so that the year of free internet service would coincide with the start of the fall semester. The program is primarily focused on providing access for students in the following groups:

  • Students in foster care
  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • English language learners
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students eligible for the Migrant Education Program
  • Other at-risk students who may be disconnected from formal education opportunities

To see the full list of awardees head to


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SOURCE Connected Nation

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