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AT&T : How AT&T Helps Bridge Digital Divide in the Dallas Community

09/16/2021 | 10:22am EDT
Download release (PDF) AT&T Opens First Connected Learning Center and Brings More Connectivity to the Dallas Community

New center will help bridge the digital divide through greater connectivity, devices and digital learning resources for students and parents of Family Gateway;
Launching additional efforts to provide laptops to underserved Dallas K-12 students

As part of its $2 billion commitment to address the digital divide, AT&T is opening its first Connected Learning Center in Dallas to provide internet access and education tools to children who face connectivity barriers vital to their long-term success. In addition, we're investing in more fiber and connectivity for the Dallas area.

In Dallas, it's estimated that more than 54,000 K-12 students1 are impacted by the digital divide and don't have internet at home. AT&T is extending its reach into the communities most affected by the digital divide starting with the opening of the AT&T Connected Learning Center at Family Gateway in Dallas.

Family Gateway is a non-profit in Dallas that provides stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness. The Center will provide the students and families within Family Gateway access to high-speed AT&T Fiber internet and Wi-Fi. As part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies will donate Dell OptiPlex computers and Dell monitors which feature integrated audio and webcams to support virtual learning. Additionally, Overland-Tandberg, a leading global technology and IT services company, will lead the onsite configuration of the computers. The company, a Black-owned corporation, is part of AT&T's $3 billion Supplier Diversity initiative. The students and families will also have access to education content from collaborators like Khan Academy and mentoring support from AT&T employees.

This is the first AT&T Connected Learning Center we're launching in Dallas and we plan to open additional centers within the area. In all, we plan to open more than 20 centers across the country, many before the end of 2021. Centers will be housed within local organizations that support underserved populations, including some of our nation's most vulnerable students and families.

'Through this collaboration with AT&T, we're able to provide essential connectivity and digital resources to some of Dallas' most vulnerable students and families affected by homelessness,' said Ellen Magnis, president and chief executive officer, Family Gateway. 'The AT&T Connected Learning Center will give our families access to free internet connectivity, computers, digital tools and educational content to help them participate in virtual learning, apply for jobs and set them up for socioeconomic success in the future.'

'AT&T's investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center at Family Gateway is a reflection of the company and its employees' ongoing commitment to addressing the digital divide in our neighborhoods,' said Mike Peterson, vice president, AT&T Texas. 'AT&T is committed to the city of Dallas and with this Connected Learning Center, we will provide critical connectivity and digital resources to connect some of Dallas's most vulnerable students and families - including those affected by homelessness - to today's digital world.'

To help students we are unable to reach through our AT&T Connected Learning Center, we're teaming up with the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Foundation Digital Divide Initiative to provide up to 200 refurbished laptops to five Salvation Army community centers serving K-12 students and their families throughout the Dallas area. The laptops are made possible through AT&T's collaboration with Digitunity, a national non-profit that works through a wide practitioner network to advance device ownership and promote technology reuse.

For students and their families who lack the skills to effectively use the internet or digital technologies, we're offering access to free digital literacy education courses. Together with the Public Library Association, we've launched the first three of 12 digital literacy courses in a curated series to help those who are newly connected build skills and confidence to use computers and mobile devices safely and responsibly. These courses will be offered online, at AT&T Connected Learning Centers and at public libraries.

In addition to our community investment in Dallas-Fort Worth, we will also continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to this area. AT&T is bringing more fiber to towns like Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Euless, Mansfield, Bedford, North Richland Hills, among others.

From 2018-2020, the company expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $3.5 billion investment in its wireless and wireline networks in the greater DFW region. In the state of Texas, AT&T Fiber is available in Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, San Antonio and Waco.

We currently offer fiber to nearly 15 million customer locations in more than 90 U.S. metros, and plan to more than double our current fiber footprint to cover 30 million customer locations by year-end 2025.

We also continue to help make broadband more affordable for millions of eligible households, including in Dallas. Families can sign up for discounted connectivity through the $10/month Access from AT&T broadband offering and can get a temporary benefit on internet through AT&T's participation in the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.

Access to technology is essential for students to thrive and teachers to succeed. That's why AT&T continues to offer solutions-in and out of the classroom-for the more than 135,000 public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Since March 2020, AT&T has helped schools, colleges and universities to connect more than 500,000 students and teachers across 50 states with agile mobile connectivity.

Learn more at att.com/connectedlearning.

Learn more about Family Gateway.

1 Source: https://digitalbridgek12.org

*About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

We're committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. AT&T Connected Learning is a multi-year commitment to bridge the digital divide and narrow the homework gap, so today's learners are connected with skills, resources, and opportunities for success in school and in life. Since 2008, we've committed over $600 million to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

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AT&T Inc. published this content on 15 September 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 16 September 2021 14:21:09 UTC.

ę Publicnow 2021
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