Cox Raises Commitment To Bridge Digital Divide With $20 Million Pledge

Originally Published by
Cox Communications.

Cox Communications announced the overwhelmingly positive results of a survey of Connect2Compete program participants, a program designed for low-income families in need of internet access at home. The vast majority of parents agree low-cost internet service at home gives children a leg up for high school graduation (91 percent) and helps students get higher grades (89 percent). During a press conference in
Washington D.C., Cox President Pat Esser also announced Cox is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide with a commitment of $20 million annually.

Connect2Compete Survey Results

The recent survey of more than 1,700 Connect2Compete participants revealed parents agree Connect2Compete:

  • Makes it easier to communicate with teachers and the school (95 percent)
  • Sets children up for success (94 percent)
  • Makes children more interested in school work (88 percent)
  • The convenience of having internet access at home is among the greatest benefits (97 percent)

According to the survey, most Connect2Compete customers are first-time internet users. Many first-time internet users lack the digital literacy skills necessary to make the most of their internet connection. To help bridge this gap, Cox Communications offers free digital literacy training and resources through the
Cox Digital Academy. The digital literacy training is designed to empower low-income families to build educational, economic and social opportunities crucial to realize the full potential of a home internet connection.

Cox Expands Commitment to Bridge Digital Divide

Joined by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Founder of EveryoneOn, Zach Leverenz, Esser revealed the company surpassed a significant program milestone and is expanding its commitment to bridge the digital divide during the press event. To date, more than 400,000 people have been connected to the internet via the Connect2Compete program and the company continues to invest in the program. Esser announced the company is pledging an additional 20 million dollars to support this initiative over the next year.

“With convenient, reliable internet access at home, students can readily focus on their school work, explore their passions and ultimately reach their full potential in life,” said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. “We will continue devoting important resources including discounted internet service to bolster their success and close the digital divide.”

Cox has offered a low-income internet program for nearly two decades, and has a strong history of exceeding its goals for providing access to technology to students and their families in the classroom, in the community and in homes. Through public-private partnerships and a dedicated focus across the entire Cox organization, the company continues to lead the way in closing the digital divide in the communities it serves. By connecting schools, community centers like Boys & Girls

During the back-to-school season, empowering students with the right tools is top of mind for parents and teachers. Survey respondents reported the sign-up process for Connect2Compete is a positive experience, and most participants experienced no issues when signing up via telephone at 855-222-3252 or online at www.cox.com/lowcostinternet. Cox also regularly hosts or attends events where families can sign-up in person.

“My number one priority at the FCC is to bridge the digital dividethe gap between Americans who have access to the internet and advanced technologies and those who don’t, “said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “That’s because the internet is increasingly critical in our daily lives. I’ve seen this for myself in my travels across the country and that’s why the FCC has taken aggressive action to extend internet access. Every American deserves to have access to digital opportunity.”

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