Sprint to hook up 50K students with free wireless service

The program is part of the White House's ConnnectED initiative, which will provide access to low-income students.

One of President Obama's initiatives has been to provide wireless connectivity to students. Whitehouse.gov live stream/Screenshot by CNET

Sprint is throwing a lifeline to low-income students.

The company is participating in an initiative by President Barack Obama to provide free wireless service to 50,000 students from kindergarten through the 12th grade across the US.

The program, dubbed ConnectED, is a White House program President Obama referenced during his recent State of the Union address. The idea is to get children -- particularly those who might struggle to afford Internet service -- early access to research and learning tools online.

A Sprint representative confirmed that the carrier would be shouldering the financial burden of the wireless data, noting that it falls in line with the company's social responsibility push.

"This initiative will build on the efforts of today's most innovative tech companies to help make our nation's children better students, problem solvers, creative thinkers, and future leaders, while also training teachers to effectively use mobile technologies to improve student outcomes and prepare them for a competitive workforce," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

Sprint noted that the company already provides roughly $24 million in free wireless services and devices to elementary and secondary schools across the US. The company said that in total, the students use more than 700 terabytes of data per month, at no cost to the school or students.

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About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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