Tech

Free Internet for Low-Income Households Soon, T-Mobile Announced

By Hanna S. , Sep 05, 2020 01:17 AM EDT
(Photo : SplitShire on Pixabay)

There will be free internet to 10 million U.S. low-income households homes soon. T-Mobile announced the final component of its Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments.

Last year, T-Mobile said that it would provide internet for 10 million U.S. households. They aim to help eliminate the homework gap and will do so once the merger with Sprint is complete. Now, it fulfills its promise. The company recently unveiled its "Project 10Million."

"We're doing it again."

Up to 50 million students are now forced to stay out of physical classrooms because of the pandemic. Now, these students are either attending part- or full-time homeschooling. The "homework gap" is now a massive "schoolwork gap." Hence, the need for connectivity and bandwidth has significantly increased.

The company enhanced its Project 10Million to address growing needs. CEO Mike Sievert announced it in a video published on September 3, 2020. The combined company is already doubling down on its commitment, with initiatives like "Connecting Heros " It is a 10-year program that will provide Free 5G access to every first responder. "Today, we're going to do it again."

$10.7billion allocation over ten-years

T-Mobile said it allocated $10.7 billion over the next ten years for the project. The aim is to make it accessible to K-12 students participating in the National School Lunch Program. This initiative provides free wireless hotspots of up to 100GB per year. The project also provides access to at-cost tablets and laptops. Another option is to convert it to its equivalent value of about $500 annually per student household.

Project 10Million to address schoolwork gap

There are 9 million American students who don't have internet access today. This results in a "homework gap." Thus, Project 10Million hopes to bridge that gap.

The program now allows school districts to apply for the grant. They just need to apply by filling out a program request form. When they apply, school administrators need to provide the ZIP codes to confirm T-Mobile service availability. Parents or guardians can also volunteer their school into the program.

Since the start of the pandemic, the company has been working with state governments, school districts, and tech companies to address connectivity needs. So, far they connected 1.6 million students in six months. The expanded Project 10Million will now tap into the company's network resources and capacity and take the initiative to a whole new level.

Leveling the playing field for everyone

Education levels the playing field for everyone. However, not everyone has access to the internet. And students with no internet access get left behind. Through Project 10Million, doors that have been previously closed will be opened. Project 10Million is the final installment of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments announced before the approval of its merger with Sprint. The first two commitments were Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.

Just a few caveats about the program, though. The data limits may not be sufficient to meet all requirements for online classes. Videos typically stream at a low resolution of 480p. The free plan ends after 100GB or 365, whichever is first. There are also limited hotspot coverage at this time.

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