CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Sprint (NYSE:S) was joined by Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois Public School faculty and students to announce its four-year commitment of offering free broadband connectivity to numerous Illinois Public Schools, including High School District 214, Maine Township District 207, Leyden 212, Glenbard Township and Hillside 93. The high-speed LTE broadband service Sprint brings to these schools will help more than 1,600 Illinois students stay connected at-home through a Wi-Fi hotspot. The value of Sprint’s service during the term is estimated at $3 million.
"Internet access is a necessary tool for students and sets them up for future success. I thank Sprint for partnering with Illinois Public Schools to help us reach our goal of supporting student learning through innovative strategies,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The students will greatly benefit from Sprint’s service by staying connected and it will help us solve the homework gap here in the great state of Illinois.”
Last year, Sprint pledged to provide wireless broadband connectivity for 50,000 low-income K-12 students across the U.S. as part of the White House initiative, ConnectED – a public and private effort to get technology into classrooms and into the hands of teachers and students to help bridge the “digital divide.”
Sprint has a long history of supporting initiatives that use innovative technologies, services and devices to enhance educational opportunities. Earlier this year, Sprint donated $250,000 to fund an expansion of the Connect Chicago Challenge – citywide effort to make Chicago the most skilled, most connected, most dynamic digital city in the world. The Connect Chicago Challenge will increase digital access through comprehensive programming, outreach and public access in neighborhoods throughout the city.
“It is critical to offer students access to the Internet essentially everywhere they go to ensure continued learning and discovery,” said Tracy Nolan, Sprint President and General Manager of Illinois and Wisconsin. “Sprint is proud to play a role with Illinois Public Schools to help students achieve their highest educational potential and build future leaders of tomorrow.”
For students who do not have access to the Internet at home, it significantly limits opportunities to complete homework assignments, research next-level learning, and apply for jobs. In the state of Illinois, about 54 percent of the students live in low income households and qualify for free or reduced lunch.
"As educators, we are challenged to meet students where they are and prepare them for success in college and their careers," said David Schuler, superintendent of High School District 214. "This service provided by Sprint levels the playing field and gives all students the opportunity to continue learning once the school day ends, complete assignments for class and research and apply for colleges."
The ConnectED initiative, launched by President Obama, is designed to prepare students for the digital economy of the future and to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. More than $750 million in private-sector commitments will deliver cutting-edge technologies to students, including devices, free software, teacher professional development, and home wireless connectivity. American companies, including Sprint, have answered the president’s challenge to “dig deep” in support of ConnectED to expand opportunities for students and to train a 21st century workforce.
In addition to Sprint’s ConnectED commitment, Sprint has been a leader in providing internet connectivity for more than a decade through grants provided by Sprint Project Connect and through other industry leading digital access programs, like ConnectHome.
To learn more about the Sprint ConnectED program visit: www.sprint.com/connected.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.6 million connections as of September 30, 2015 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.