T-Mobile announced this week that the company will invest $10.7 billion in the new “Project 10Million,” which aims to provide free internet access to millions of students in the United States. The wireless carrier will also offer school districts low-cost options to increased monthly data plans so students can stay connected to their schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert argues that students need an internet connection, and this became even more important as the pandemic forced schools to close their classrooms and provide online classes. However, as he notes, there are a significant number of students who don’t have access to a high-speed internet connection.
Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.
Project 10Million will let school districts apply for a free 100GB per month option or even a completely unlimited plan. Furthermore, all participating districts get free wireless hotspots and access to “at-cost” laptops and tablets. The carrier states that it has been working with schools, state governments, and technology partners since the pandemic began.