Cox Communications said it is backing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) ConnectHome initiative by extending the MSO’s Connect2Compete low-cost broadband offering to to any HUD-assisted household with school-age children in Cox's 18-state service area.
Cos said it’s the first ISP tied to ConnectHome umbrella to extend such an offering via its national footprint, estimating that the investment from Cox has the potential to help nearly 250,000 students who live in HUD-assisted homes.
Cox said more than 160,000 people have been connected to the Internet through Cox's Connect2Compete plan since 2012. Connect2Compete service is $9.95 per month for eligible families, supporting downstream speeds up 10 Mbps, free in-home WiFi, free installation and free access to hotspots deployed by Cox and other members of the Cable WiFi consortium.
Cox president Pat Esser and HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced it today in Phoenix at the Phoenix Landing Apartments complex, along with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and other community supporters.
"Internet access is critical to education, job hunting, shopping and utilizing city services in the 21st century," said Mayor Greg Stanton, said in a statement. "I applaud this public-private partnership because we cannot afford to let any students and families in our community become marginalized because they lack access to the web."
"Technology and the Internet play an increasingly critical role in the education of our youth. Yet, students cannot take the Internet home in their backpacks," added Esser. "We are committed to staying at the forefront of the Internet adoption movement. Through strong partnerships in the communities we serve, we will build more bridges to enable all families to cross the digital divide, regardless of where they live."
"ConnectHome is expanding opportunity for our nation's next generation of inventors, CEOs and artists," Castro said. "Today's announcement will transform the lives of kids across the country, opening the door for students to live up to their full potential and not be limited in what they can achieve."