Obama hooks up new school broadband plan

Obama hooks up new school broadband plan

Summary: President Barack Obama has unveiled a new government partnership with the private sector worth nearly $3 billion to hook up an extra 20 million school kids to high-speed internet.

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"In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, we should definitely demand it in our schools," United States President Barack Obama said on Tuesday, unveiling the latest prong of his "opportunity agenda" in a Washington suburb.

The program, a link-up with US firms including Verizon, Sprint, and Apple, fits into Obama's consistent push to improve education and technological skills needed to compete in an increasingly competitive global market.

But it is also Obama's latest attempt to show that with a "pen and a phone", he can wield presidential power to significant economic effect, even though Republicans in Congress are squelching much of his second-term agenda.

Under the program, the Federal Communications Commission will put down $2 billion to connect 20 million more students to wireless broadband in their schools.

The Department of Agriculture will come in with $10 million in grants to benefit rural schools.

The administration has also secured hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from top communications and internet companies.

Apple has pledged $100 million to buy iPads and MacBook computers for disadvantaged schools, AT&T will pay more than $100 million to offer internet connectivity to selected middle school students.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has pledged to offer steep discounts on the cost of its Windows operating system, and Sprint will come up with another $100 million to offer free wireless to 50,000 low-income high school students for four years.

Verizon will put up $100 million in cash to support the Obama program, known as ConnectED.

The White House says the new effort will bring America close to giving 99 percent of schoolchildren internet access within five years.

Topics: Broadband, Government US, Education

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6 comments
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  • Plaaaaleeeese.....................

    eRate already pays back 50-90% of network costs for schools.

    Microsoft has always nearly given away all their software to k12 schools.

    The problem with schools is union teachers doing nothing but babysitting and parent's just collecting a check for having a kid.
    everss02
    • Isn't it that way

      With All Unions? High Cost, and Low Quality, are the Hallmarks of the Unions today. Obama is pushing for "Card Checks", in an effort to drive more jobs away. This crap with "raising the Minimum Wage" will not create more middle class taxpayers, but cause more jobs to leave the U.S.. But that's part of the plan. Barrak said he wanted to make the U.S. "more humble".
      I hate trolls also
  • Where is this money coming from?

    We are $17 Trillion dollars in debt. The deficit is a Trillion dollars each year. Stop spending money that we do not have. STOP SPENDING!!!!

    If you want to help students and parents, give them vouchers with close to the same dollar amount you spend on public education and let them buy what they need to educate their children. Require yearly assessment tests to ensure they are being educated but if they want to spend part of the money on computers, internet access, tutors, etc, let them.

    We don't need to spend more money, we need to spend our money wisely and not throwing it down a money hole.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • If only we spent more money on education!

      I've been hearing this for decades. If private companies and American citizens want serious sustained improvements in education, they need to work on privatizing public education. We need private contractors to run public schools, and we need private schools to compete for public funded vouchers. It's about competition, competition, competition! We need private companies competing to educate our children. Then the American educational system will once again become the envy of the world.
      P. Douglas
    • It comes from

      Te d=same place "Barrak the magic muslim" has be getting the trillions he's been spending like mad, for the last 5 years from. The Bank of China, he Mexican Drug Cartels, and Al Queida.
      I hate trolls also
    • .....Vouchers..??

      And who do you think pays for them...??
      Just Money we pay, in a different way.
      Not a solution....
      ChoMlo