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Level : P-12, Postsecondary

Related Tags : Digital Equity

Digital Equity Champions for All Learners: AT&T Addresses Broadband Availability, Affordability, and Adoption

AT&T’s efforts to advance digital equity for learners address broadband access from the perspectives of availability, affordability, and adoption. AT&T Assistant Vice President Meredith Williams attended the U.S. Department of Education’s National Digital Equity Summit in September 2022. In a video interview, we asked her, “How are you and your organization working across sectors to advance digital equity for learners, families, and communities?”

Williams responded that AT&T is first collaborating with state and local governments to build the physical infrastructure necessary to expand broadband availability. The company is committed to building more than 30 million additional fiber locations by the end of 2025.

“There’s also the problem of affordability,” Williams continued. “And so that’s why we are happy to participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is a $30 per month benefit. And when subscribers who are eligible for that benefit apply that to any of the AT&T home broadband services, they are eligible for $30 off their internet service, which could result in free internet for their home.”

AT&T is a participating provider in the Biden-Harris administration’s Get Internet Initiative, which secured commitments from twenty internet service providers to offer ACP-eligible households a high-speed internet plan for $30 or less per month. Eligible families who apply their ACP benefit to one of these plans can receive high-speed internet at no cost.

In parallel, AT&T is addressing adoption barriers, such as lack of access information, technical support, and digital skills-building opportunities, which also impact communities’ abilities to fully participate in a digital economy and society. “We have built out digital literacy centers [or Connected Learning Centers]…working with local organizations…so we can meet the needs of those very specific communities. We have also partnered with the Public Library Association to offer digital literacy training classes at more than 400 libraries across the country.”