AT&T and United Way to Provide Thousands of Free Devices to Southern Dallas Residents

What’s the news? AT&T* and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) are working together to help bridge the digital divide in southern Dallas. The digital divide is the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who don’t. As part of our AT&T Connected Learning initiative, we are contributing $1 million to UWMD in support of free laptops, digital literacy training and technology support over two years.

Our goal is to help under-resourced students in southern Dallas neighborhoods engage in online learning and set them up for success in today’s digital school and job environments.

Find it on Apple News

Why is this important?

Millions of students across the country cannot connect to online learning opportunities because they have no internet access or unreliable internet access at home, no computers, or poor digital literacy skills. This is especially true in underserved communities with a high percentage of people of color, which includes southern Dallas. These students are often at-risk for falling behind their peers in the classroom and beyond.

“This collaboration with United Way builds on the continued commitment we have to addressing the digital divide in Dallas,” said Mike Peterson, vice president, AT&T Texas External Affairs. “AT&T is committed to the city of Dallas and with this contribution we are helping to remove technology barriers to education and job success for underserved students and families in southern Dallas neighborhoods.”

How we will make it happen

AT&T is directing its resources to Southern Dallas Thrives, through which more than 2,000 refurbished laptops, digital literacy workshops and technology support will be provided to K-12 students, young adults, and families in collaboration with non-profits and local schools across southern Dallas.

The program is the latest progress point for Southern Dallas Thrives, an initiative created in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The PepsiCo Foundation and Frito-Lay North America, which advances outcomes for Pre-K-12 students, increases food access, and supports women entering and advancing in the workforce.

“We are honored to collaborate with AT&T to provide the students and families in southern Dallas with digital resources to overcome the challenges associated with the digital divide,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president and chief executive officer of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Our work with AT&T will bolster our efforts through the Southern Dallas Thrives initiative to advance economic opportunity for students and ensure they can be competitive and successful in obtaining the living-wage jobs of the future.”

In addition to our efforts with United Way, we recently opened three AT&T Connected Learning Centers to help address the digital divide in Dallas located within Family GatewayFor Oak Cliff and CitySquare local nonprofits. These centers provide at-risk students with access to high-speed AT&T Fiber internet and Wi-Fi, computers, free educational resources, and mentoring and tutoring support from AT&T employees.

We offer affordable internet options

We’re continuing to help make internet more affordable for millions of eligible households around the country, including in Dallas. Eligible families can sign up for discounted connectivity through the low-cost Access from AT&T broadband offering and can get a benefit of up to $30 a month and up to $75 on qualifying Tribal lands to reduce the cost of internet through our participation in the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Working closely with educators and government leaders, we can help connect communities and reimagine the future of schools. That’s why we are committed to providing comprehensive, agile and affordable solutions for education institutions, libraries and government entities to connect students, teachers, library patrons and underserved constituents. Since March 2020, AT&T has connected more than 600,000 students and teachers, across 50 states, in collaboration with departments of education, school districts, and higher education institutions.

We are expanding our network

In addition to our community investment, we will continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to Dallas-Fort Worth area by installing more fiber in towns like Dallas, which includes parts of Southern Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Euless, Mansfield, Bedford and North Richland Hills. In addition, we are bringing more 5G to the area in the coming months and years. Just this month, we introduced our newest spectrum of 5G+, C-Band, in limited parts of Dallas. This will help enable our 5G network to reach its full potential.