Sprint Giving 1 Million Students Free Devices, Wireless Service

Cody PriceOct 12, 2016

Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure said many students weren't able to take full advantage of the offer because they didn't have and couldn't afford devices.

As announced, Sprint will work with non-profit agencies that will help recruit community organizations - schools, libraries, etc. - to get devices and service into the hands of kids who genuinely need it. Sprint is granting access to their network for up to four years for free, which is the typical duration of high school.

School age children living in some five million low income households lack a way to connect to the Internet at home, handicapping their ability to do homework and research topics for school.

For now, the program will give students 3GB of high-speed data, as well as free calling and texting for those with phones, though Claure said that could increase over time.

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"Education is the foundation for our society to prosper, and the internet is an incredibly powerful tool for learning".

"Being an immigrant in this country, and seeing that this problem mainly affects African-Americans and Hispanics, it touches my heart and I wanted to make sure we got it done right", Mr. Claure said on a call with reporters.

The 1Million Project is a multi-year plan to connect low-income U.S. high school students lacking a reliable source of Internet access at home. Unlimited data at 2G speeds will be offered beyond the high-speed limit, Sprint said.

"We felt that as one of the largest employers in Kansas City. that it made sense to have our hometown as one of our markets that we focus on really helping students close that homework gap", he says. "Students lacking home Internet access are cut off from a future of possibilities".

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Sprint has implemented other technology initiatives for low-income students in the past.

Manufacturers have agreed to provide the mobile devices at no cost, Claure said.

Sprint hopes to officially roll out the program for the 2017-2018 school year.

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