What’s the news? Los Angeles Unified School District and AT&T* are providing high-speed broadband to students’ homes at no cost to their families. As we reimagine the future of education, connectivity is the new pen and paper. And through this joint effort, more students and households in Los Angeles will have the reliable internet needed to fully participate in education and digital life.
This is an investment in high-speed internet to build a better future for Los Angeles Unified students and their families. The program is funded through the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund through June 2023 and the district is exploring options to make services available to students in need on a longer-term basis.
In February, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho announced his 100-Day Plan to expand high-quality academic opportunities at Los Angeles Unified. As part of his plan, the district is launching the “All Families Connected” program, which was created to ensure every student has access to the right technology tools, high-quality connectivity on and off campus, and the digital literacy necessary to advance in a digital world.
“In an age when teaching and learning is increasingly digital, access to reliable high-speed internet is simply a human right,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We have a responsibility as educators to ensure every student has the tools needed to access every learning opportunity available, and that includes reliable internet access, around the clock, on- and off-campus. Without reliable internet access, our students don’t have what they need to learn. It’s as simple as that. Los Angeles Unified is relentless in our efforts to equip our students with the resources they need to achieve their full academic potential.”
“We applaud Superintendent Carvalho and his team for creating a program that brings internet to the homes of Los Angeles Unified students who aren’t connected with high-speed internet today,” said Rhonda Johnson, President, AT&T California. “We know that learning doesn’t only happen in physical classrooms, so reliable connectivity at home is critical for students to thrive today and in the future. This collaborative effort is another example of how public-private partnerships can play a vital role in connecting our California communities.”
Why is this important? Even prior to the pandemic, Education IT leaders have expressed increased concern regarding students’ home access to reliable internet connectivity, often referred to as the Homework Gap. Without adequate internet access, students can encounter issues with slow connectivity and with multiple students in a household, the problem worsens. In Los Angeles County, 19% of households either have no connection or rely on smartphones for internet connectivity.
That’s where fast and reliable internet is critical—in and out of the classroom. The Los Angeles Unified program will provide families access to high-speed AT&T internet services, including upload and download speeds of up to 1 GIG with AT&T FIBER®, so learning doesn’t slow down. High-speed internet changes how families work, learn, live and play—creating economic opportunities and stronger communities.
Who qualifies for this program?
Families with students who are currently enrolled in a Los Angeles Unified School District school and do not currently have broadband at home are eligible for this program.
How do qualified families sign up?
For more information on the “All Families Connected” program, including how to sign up, visit achieve.lausd.net/connect or call 213.443.1300.
How is AT&T helping bridge the digital divide in Los Angeles?
AT&T is continuing to help make internet more affordable for Education institutions, Libraries and Government entities to connect students, teachers, library patrons and underserved families across the country, including Los Angeles.
The company also announced in December that it is opening three new AT&T Connected Learning Centers in Los Angeles to provide internet access and education tools for those who face connectivity barriers vital to their long-term success. AT&T has already opened a center at the Coalition for Responsible Community Development’s YouthSource Center. The next opens today at the Salvadoran American Leadership & Education Fund (SALEF) and the Vermont Slauson EDC Technology Training Center is planned for later this year.
Once connected, AT&T recognizes the importance of free digital education and mentoring tools that help families gain the skills needed to use the internet safely and effectively. That’s why AT&T is offering free digital literacy courses and workshops together with the Public Library Association and free online safety tips and tools through AT&T ScreenReady®. In addition, AT&T has launched a digital learning platform for K-12 students called, The Achievery, created by AT&T, which features clips from some of the most well-loved films, TV shows and animated series paired with lessons and learning activities created by leading education nonprofit organizations. AT&T employees are also helping by providing tutoring and mentoring to the students and families within the Connected Learning Centers.
In addition to community investments in Los Angeles, AT&T also continues to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to this area. From 2018-2020, the company expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $2.7 billion investment in wireless and wireline networks in the greater Los Angeles region. In the state of California, AT&T Fiber covers more than 8 million fiber strand miles.