Cox Communications, the cable company that serves millions of customers throughout the United States, offers a program of affordable home Internet for low-income families with children, through a partnership with the nonprofit that offers Connect2Compete.
Through the program, the service is available for $9.95 a month for customers who have a child in a K-12 school, and also qualify for either public housing, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF.) Those signing up also must not already be Cox customers, or have any outstanding debt to the company or unreturned equipment.
"Access to technology at home is critical to the quality of a student’s education, yet many students in America lack internet access," the company says on its website. "That’s why we’re working to provide opportunities for families and students by offering low-cost internet to qualified households with the Cox Connect2Compete program."
Those applying are required to provide proof of school enrollment and proof of enrollment in one or more of the government programs. The service also includes a free Wi-Fi modem, the Cox Security Suite and 650,000+ Cox hotspots around the country.
In addition, during the current social distancing, Cox said that it will offer the first two months free of Connect2Compete for those signing up, as well as phone and remote desktop support, at no charge, through May 15. Cox is also offering "resources for discounted, refurbished equipment," through their partnership with PCs For People.
According to statistics on the Cox website, one-third of households in the U.S. with children between 6 and 17 does not have an Internet connection at home, while a quarter of teenagers aren't able to finish homework assignments due to "unreliable computer or internet access." The company also said that 95 percent of those who have enrolled in Cox2Compete "reported that internet has improved their communication with their child’s school."
Connect2Compete began as a standalone nonprofit organization, which eventually changed its name to EveryoneOn, while continuing to use the Connect2Compete name specifically for the low-cost Internet service. Cox and Connect2Compete announced their partnership back in 2013.
Applications for the program are available on the company's website.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.