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Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all made pledges

Making sure students across the U.S. have access to the Web is a priority for President Barack Obama, and many major tech companies have backed him with pledges totaling around $750 million.

Obama is due to announce his commitments regarding the ConnectED initiative today, which aims to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the Web via Internet-connected devices within five years. It will also make better use of existing funds to ensure Internet connectivity and train teachers on the use of devices and Web services. 

Major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all made pledges to back this initiative via either computers, mobile devices, Internet service, discounts or cash. 

More specifically, Apple is contributing $100 million in iPads, computers and other tools; Verizon is pledging up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions; Microsoft is offering Windows-based tablets, laptops and devices at discounted prices as well as 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office software (which it says has the potential to inject $1 billion in savings into the system), and AT&T and Sprint are pitching in with free Internet service through their respective wireless networks (AT&T is pledging $100 million of free mobile broadband access and Sprint said it will provide free wireless broadband service to 50,000 students nationwide for four years). 


[SOURCE: securedgenetworks.com]

Tech companies have a lot to gain by helping to equip students with their technology. Likely the top reason is to produce more engineering talent, as the country currently suffers a shortage of enginners who are U.S. citizens. American tech companies are prepping current students to learn and understand technology enough to potentially become future tech leaders and maybe even work for their companies.

It also boosts sales and market share of respective devices and services, such as Microsoft's offer of discounted Windows products. 

Sprint's four-year commitment will begin September 1 of this year while Microsoft's is effective immediately. 

Obama said only 1 in 5 American students had high-speed Internet access, which is far behind places like South Korea with 100 percent of students connected to high-speed wireless Internet. 

Just yesterday, it was reported that the FCC plans to double spending for broadband in schools and libraries to $2 billion. 

The ConnectED initiative, which was announced in June 2013, will provide high-speed broadband and stable Wi-Fi networks with speed no less than 100Mbps with a target of 1Gbps. 

Sources: The Official Microsoft Blog, PR Newswire, PR Newswire, Bloomberg



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RE: Geography Fail
By senecarr on 2/4/2014 1:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the United States has a lot of area, and a lot of nobody living in a lot of it. Geography is used as an excuse for poor infrastructure by a lot of free marketers that don't want to look at the real reasons the US is behind other countries. Even when you take an apples to apples look at dense urban areas in the US they fall far short of the national average of most other developed countries, and even a lot of developing countries.
Britain used to have similar issues with being behind in broadband penetration. They ended up improving things by forcing the main infrastructure telecom into leasing access to wires to other providers. The result has lead to huge price drops, and some increases in offered speed, even in highly rural areas.


RE: Geography Fail
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Geography Fail
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2014 4:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well don't let the facts get in the way of your nationalism and bigotry guys.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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