The fourth biggest wireless carrier in the United States is joining forces with the Sprint Foundation in launching the 1Million Project. This effort is envisioning to give a free mobile phone, plus high speed Internet access, to 1 million high school students, specifically those underprivileged. The 1Million Project drew its inspiration from President Barack Obama’s ConnectED and My Brother’s Keeper projects, and it wants to bring on a world in which disadvantaged families with kids in school no longer have to suffer “homework gap” just because they could not gain access to the information superhighway while at home. According to data provided by the Pew Research Center, there are about 5 million families in America dealing with this so-called homework gap.
In bringing the 1Million Project to life, Sprint is also looking to team up with non-profit organizations such as the aforementioned My Brother’s Keeper and EveryoneOn, especially in distributing the free smartphones, tablets, laptops, or Wi-Fi hotspot access, plus 3 gigabytes of LTE a month. Once the wireless carrier successfully launches several pilot programs in specific markets, Sprint is planning to deploy the project across the US preferably by the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Some may be wondering why Sprint is giving away free mobile devices considering its current financial woes. But Marcelo Claure, the chief executive officer of the wireless carrier, has since stated that the cost to Sprint will be quite minimal. And besides, most of the equipment to be given to kids was acquired by Sprint basically for free directly from the manufacturers.
As for the Sprint Foundation, this was started almost three decades ago, and was founded to carry out the philanthropic initiatives of Sprint. The foundation routinely donates money to community organizations across America, especially those that focus on education, culture, arts, community and youth development, and disaster relief.
It is quite comforting to know that Sprint is not the only tech firm out there working to minimize homework gap among kids from households that can not always afford access to the Internet. As a matter of fact, the biggest social media company in the world, Facebook, is readying to roll out its Free Basics program in the US. This program aims to provide users with free Internet access to selected websites by way of a zero rated data set up. Cable giant Comcast also relaxed its requirements for its budget friendly broadband service.
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