On Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference to announce the Connect2Compete / EveryoneOn program. The program offers 1GB of free monthly wifi access and 10GB priced at $9.99 a month to qualifying zip codes (the 14,000 lowest income zip codes in the nation). They also offer discounted new and refurbished desktops, laptops and tablets to qualifying zip codes.
I did some exploring on the Connect2Compete website and found that my students qualify for the free 1GB or 10GB/$9.99 deal. Their families would have to pay $49 + shipping for the wireless router. BUT, the $49 is refundable if and when they return their router. Kids in my school’s zip code also qualify for a desktop or tablet for $150 or a laptop for $199. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that once you have used your free 1GB for the month then your service is discontinued until the following month (unless you buy more gigabytes). So, you can only watch videos like this or this so many times before you’ve maxed out your usage. And my students love watching videos like this one many, many times a day!
What does the DLC think about this program? Do you think it will help that “digital divide” as far as access goes? Do you see your students’ families buying into this program? Other thoughts?
Click here for the insideschools.org article on Bloomberg’s announcement.