Cox Communications is extending its free and reduced-price internet service for low-income families.
The service, dubbed Connect2Compete, was launched in July and was slated to end on Wednesday. It is funded through the CARES Act, aiming to cut down on the digital divide between those with easy access to high-speed internet and those who can’t access such services.
Customers must have at least one K-12 student at home and participate in one of these government subsidies programs: The National School Lunch Program, SNAP, TANF, Head Start, WIC, LIHEAP or public housing.
Cox CEO Pat Esser said in a statement that the company would do its part, alongside various cities and towns, to make high-speed internet access attainable for all.
“Our commitment remains strong, but we cannot do this alone. We need to keep partnering with cities, school districts, counties and community-based organizations to get families connected,” said Esser in the release. “Connection is more important than ever before, especially for kids.”
Connect2Compete allows qualifying customers to receive internet connectivity for two months free of charge.
The service costs $9.95 per month after that period, with customers receiving access to more than 2,500 outdoor WiFi hotspots in Arizona.
The service is the latest in a series of measures taken by the company, including the suspension of late fees and extended payment relief, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ashley Perkins, who works as the vice president of Cox Business, believes the measures will keep students from falling behind, as virtual learning becomes the norm in K-12 education.
“Hundreds of schools have worked with us to connect students, teachers and faculty through our CARES Act Solutions for Education,” Perkins said in a release.
“We realize each school has unique challenges, and we’re ready to partner to ensure these schools’ students can harness the power of an internet connection.”
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