SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A large donation to the Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) is helping students who don’t have internet connect more easily.
T-Mobile is partnering with SCCPSS to help with the county’s digital divide.
“Since it’s been announced that we went 100 percent virtual as of this past Monday certainly I have had emails and phone calls every single day asking do we have the hotspots yet,” Media Services Lead Program Manager, Tammy Kemp said.
T-Mobile will donate nearly 10,000 hotspots to the district for students who still need internet for virtual learning.
“The grant targets those students that are enrolled in the national free lunch program within our districts so those will be the students who receive those hotspots,” Kemp said.
It’s a part of T-Mobile’s Project 10Million program that’s addressing digital inequality.
“This is a $4 million investment that we’re making just in Savannah-Chatham County and with the school being 100 percent virtual there’s never been more of a need than today,” Senior Manager of Business Development with T-Mobile, Mitch Clabeaux said.
According to T-Mobile, nine million families across the country don’t have wifi and they say the digital divide for students is unacceptable.
“These underprivileged families and families that don’t have access to the internet are not getting the same education as families that have internet,” Government Account Executive with T-Mobile, Steven Anderson said.
The school district will receive 5,685 hotspots within the coming weeks and an additional 4,000 by July. Kemp says when students went virtual in March internet resources ran low so they turned to their WiFi on Wheels program.
“But we also knew that we still had families that for whatever reason couldn’t get to that spot at the particular date and time for the wifi bus. There still was that need so this will drastically help us to help our families,” Kemp said.
T-Mobile started this project before the pandemic hit to provide internet to 10 million homes across the country. Each student will also get free earbuds.