AT&T Invests More to Help Bridge the Digital Divide in Cleveland

What’s the news? As part of our $2 billion commitment to help bridge the digital divide, AT&T* Ohio today opened a new AT&T Connected Learning Center inside the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center (ASC3) ** in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood.

This is the second AT&T Connected Learning Center launched in Cleveland, following another that opened at Esperanza in December. We have plans to open more than 20 centers across the country. Centers will be housed within local organizations that support under-resourced populations, including some of our nation’s most vulnerable students and families.

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In addition, we are working with NBA Cares to provide 500 laptops to underserved families in the Cleveland area and expanding our fiber network to neighborhoods surrounding ASC3.

Why is this important?  In Cleveland, it’s estimated that more than 13,000 K-12 students1 don’t have access to the internet, an issue that is part of the digital divide.

“We cannot overstate the importance of connecting our residents to the digital economy,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “This investment by AT&T provides infrastructure, supports the work of a valued local program at ASC3, increases connectivity in a core Cleveland neighborhood, and even brings computers to families that need them. Connecting Clevelanders is vital but as mayor, I can’t do that alone. We must engage the private sector with partners like AT&T to help our residents get the skills they need to compete in our economy today.”

“We have never been afraid to reach to AT&T about our families who need assistance,” said Wanda Davis, Executive Director of ASC3. “AT&T always comes to bat. This Connected Learning Center and the fiber internet service in our neighborhoods will help connect our families to learning, to jobs and to health care. I can now say there is no reason for people in this area to not be connected, and we are so pleased to help them learn all it can do for them.”

How we will make it happen

The Connected Learning Center will provide high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, Dell Technologies computers — as well as education, tutoring and mentoring resources — for local underserved students and community members. We are also contributing $50,000 in support of ASC3 programming.

As part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies is donating new Dell OptiPlex computers and Dell monitors. Overland-Tandberg, a leading Black-owned global technology and IT services company, is leading the onsite configuration of the computers. Families utilizing the Connected Learning Center will also have access to education content from collaborators like Khan Academy and mentoring support from AT&T employees.

“Our investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center at ASC3 directly reflects our commitment to address the digital divide and make an impact in the communities we serve,” said AT&T Ohio President Molly Kocour Boyle. “As our fiber expansion in the surrounding neighborhoods shows, we are working to expand our fiber footprint and will continue delivering ultra-fast internet that helps connect the city’s underserved students and families to the technology they need.”

How else are we supporting underserved residents in Cleveland?

As part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, we are teaming up with NBA Cares to work with PCs for People to provide 500 refurbished computers to underserved families in the Cleveland community in 2022. Clevelanders interested to receive one of the 500 refurbished laptop computers may apply through the AT&T Connected Learning Centers in Cleveland at ASC3 or Esperanza.

We offer affordable internet options

We’re continuing to help make internet more affordable for millions of eligible households around the country, including in Cleveland. Eligible households can sign up for free internet service by combining the $30 a month benefit from the new federal Affordable Connectivity Programwith our low-cost Access from AT&T plan, which provides faster internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

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 650,000 students and teachers, across 50 states, in collaboration with departments of education, school districts, and higher education institutions.

We are expanding our network

To help neighborhoods surrounding ASC3, AT&T is also expanding our award-winning fiber network to nearly 300 customer locations in the area. We will continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to the Cleveland area. From 2018-2020, we expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $350 million investment in our wireless and wireline networks in metro Cleveland. In the state of Ohio, AT&T Fiber is available in Cleveland and more than 75 other Ohio communities.