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Arizona Department of Education, Cox partner on faster internet for low-income families

COVID-19 pandemic sharpens digital divide for rural students
Posted at 3:53 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 23:00:57-05

PHOENIX — Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman announced Monday that the department has partnered with Cox to increase internet speeds for low-income families as many students and teachers return to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting December 11, internet speeds for Connect2Compete customers will be temporarily doubled to 50 Mbps for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year in all Cox markets in the state.

“During the current COVID-19 spike, many students and teachers are returning to distance learning, once again needing to rely on their at-home internet service provider,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “I am thankful that Cox Communications promptly responded to my request to provide low-income students and families with higher internet speeds.”

The telecommunications company said the Connect2Compete plan is a low-cost internet plan designed to increase educational opportunities for low-income students who do not have access to a reliable and affordable internet connection at home. Those who are offered this internet package are students and families receiving government assistance.

Thousands of Arizona students are currently receiving Connect2Compete service in communities throughout the metro Phoenix area, Pinal County, and Southern Arizona area, according to Cox.

“Cox remains committed to ensuring that all kids in our service areas have access to broadband connectivity so that they can do homework, communicate with their teachers and have the same opportunities to access information as their classmates,” said John Wolfe, Southwest Regional General Manager at Cox Communications.

For families hoping to qualify, you can click here. Those who sign up before December 31 will receive two months of free service and will pay $9.95 monthly going forward.