By Justice Allen
- T-Mobile announces $11B initiative to provide 10 million students with internet
- African American children were 8% less likely to have access to high-speed internet
The first day of school is upon us, but thanks to the pandemic, dozens of schools across the country will have to extend their remote learning protocol bringing internet access into question. T-Mobile (TMUS -1.63%) has responded, following up with a plan that will bring internet access to 10 million students. African American children were 8% less likely to have access to high-speed internet and 4% more likely to have no internet access, according to The Journal. A T-Mobile internet plug can have a huge impact on their education success.
Why This Matters: Before we start singing T-Mobile’s praises, let’s keep in mind that the global broadband services market is valued at over $355 billion. While we support brands offering resources and opportunities to those who need them, we’re keeping a suspicious side eye on T-Mobile. The plan was initially pitched to persuade decision-makers during merger talks with Sprint. The Verge noted that the plan’s fine print has a hard cap of 100GB for the free plan, meaning students would have no internet access once the 100GB is used or when the year ends.
The global broadband services market is valued at over $355 billion
Learning from home can present significant challenges to lower-income families, specifically when it comes to high speed internet. A study done by The Hill indicated that about 30% of all public-school students did not have access to high-speed internet or devices that were equipped for remote learning. As a part of the plan, families can get a free hotspot and 100GB of data over one year, or they can pay a monthly fee of $12 for 100GB of data per month.
What’s Next: Other internet providers like Comcast (CMCSA -2.63%) and Charter (CHTR -1.55%) have offered high-speed internet for low-income families that need it. It’s too soon to say whether T-Mobile was more concerned with its own agenda, but we can celebrate the fact that millions of students can have better access to the resources they need to get a good education.
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