NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Distance Learning

Digital Education

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the closure of thousands of schools, online education at home is how millions of students will be learning for the coming months. Since distance learning requires a reliable broadband connection, ensuring that all families are connected has become a national priority. America’s cable broadband providers have expanded programs that provide low-cost solutions and are working with schools and other community partners to ensure that every student can use the internet to participate in school from the safety of their home.

K-12 Bridge to Broadband

The K-12 Bridge to Broadband initiative was developed by NCTA and EducationSuperHighway (ESH), a national non-profit that led the work to close the classroom connectivity gap, to connect more students to the internet for remote and hybrid learning.

This initiative has established a national framework of principles that enables cable broadband providers to work directly with school districts. 

School districts can confidentially share with cable providers information to quickly identify students without broadband at home. 

School districts then are able to purchase internet service, at a discounted rate, for low-income families through sponsored service agreements. 

The initiative builds on recent successful school district partnerships in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Des Moines and several other cities and will be applicable to all K-12 schools throughout a cable broadband provider’s coverage area.

Read the full announcement about the program.

a young boy learning remotely on a device
young girl reading a children's book

Connecting Students and Learning During COVID-19

Cable providers' ongoing efforts to support distance learning include expanding low-cost options and working with school districts to connect students so they can learn from home.

Adoption Programs

For years, NCTA member companies have offered broadband adoption programs that provide internet service for low-income households. These programs feature: Low Costs, Free Devices, Eligibility Programs, and Skill Training.

Some of our company programs:

Low Cost
Affordable pricing options for families, many as low as $10 a month.
Free Devices
Modems, routers and connected devices such as tablet and computers.
Households qualifying for Free and Reduced Price School Meals or other select low-income benefits.
Skill Training
Tools for computer literacy training and educational resources for students.
Consumers connected via low-cost broadband programs
Americans have access to low-income broadband programs
number of U.S. homes where cable ISPs offer low-cost programs

Keeping Everyone Connected

With so many new challenges, we’re stepping up our efforts to provide connectivity to all.