What you need to know about President Obama’s ConnectHome initiative
DURANT, Okla. – President Obama will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, today to announce a new initiative to expand high-speed broadband internet to more families across the country.
According to a press release from the White House, the ConnectHome pilot program is launching in 27 communities, including Choctaw Nation, and will initially reach nearly 275,000 low-income households across the country – including nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the internet at home.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) selected these communities through a competitive process that took into account local commitment to expanding broadband opportunities; presence of place-based programs; and other factors to ensure all are well-positioned to deliver on ConnectHome.
Eight nationwide internet service providers have announced they will help bridge the gap in digital access for students living in assisted housing units.
Officials at the White House say in select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, the Cherokee Communications, Pine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
Residents in assisted housing units will be offered broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices.
Officials say ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high-speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative which plans to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.
Less than half of the households in the lowest-income quintile have a home internet subscription.
With many school assignments being online, children need to have internet access to do their homework.
ConnectHome will help ensure that these students have access to high-speed internet once they are at home.
ConnectHome is launching in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and includes Camden, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio – all of which were designated Promise Zones where the Administration works in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to achieve their educational and economic goals.
President Obama has also called on Congress to cut taxes on hiring and investment in Promise Zones to attract businesses and create jobs, according to the White House.