A new initiative from mobile carrier Sprint is designed to bridge the gap between families that have internet access and the 5 million families that do not by offering free devices and data plans to low-income high school students.
The 1Million Project is “the largest corporate initiative to bridge the digital divide and help close ‘Homework Gap’ for 1 million disadvantaged high school students lacking home Internet access,” according to the program’s website. Each qualifying student will receive a free wireless device and free wireless connectivity for up to four years in high school.
Sprint sees this as more than a chance for students to do homework; it is an opportunity to bring them closer to communications with their teachers, scholarships, jobs and college.
The 1Million Project will connect approximately 200,000 students per year for five years, with each participating student receiving a free smartphone, tablet, laptop or hotspot device. Students who receive a smartphone will also get free hotspot capability and unlimited calls and texts while on the Sprint network.
Support for the program will come from donations made by device-manufacturer partners and funds raised through special events and donation drives. The pilot program will begin in January 2017, with a full-year program launching in the fall of 2017.
High schools, nonprofits, libraries and public housing authorities can earn a spot in the program by applying before the Oct. 28 deadline.
Read more at Sprint.