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Today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Pat Esser, President of Cox Communications, reinforced the company’s commitment to closing the digital divide by announcing a two-year extension of their participation in the Connect2Compete program and pledging $15 million in support of the initiative. This program is dedicated to increasing broadband adoption by providing affordable Internet, digital literacy training and devices to families with children in grades K-12.
Pat Esser was joined by Zach Leverenz, CEO of EveryoneOn, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Amy Quinn Director of PR and Corporate Social Responsibility at Cox Communications. Commissioner Rosenworcel spoke about the value of broadband in today’s connected world. “Broadband is not just about communications,” Commissioner Rosenworcel said. “It’s about an on ramp to opportunity and success in the 21st century.”
When asked about the extended commitment, Amy Quinn said, “the most important thing our industry can do for our communities is to continue to invest in our broadband networks to deliver advanced technology services to all customers, no matter where they live.” It is in this ability to invest and innovate, especially through strong public-private partnerships, where real progress is made.
Considering 76% of K-12 teachers assign internet-based homework, students without broadband access and digital skills are struggling to complete their assignments. According to Quinn, “This has been the guiding principle for our efforts to connect youth to technology in their schools, in the community and ultimately in their homes for more than a decade.”
Cox isn’t the only one committed to closing the digital divide. Other cable operators like as Bright House Networks, Mediacom, and Suddenlink, have also contributed to Connect2Compete. And Comcast has it’s own program dedicated to closing the digital divide called Internet Essentials.
Cox’s continued participation in Connect2Compete further strengthens the commitment. Pat Esser concluded by saying Cox is proud to be “driving major momentum in closing the digital divide and changing the lives of kids both educationally and professionally.”