LOS ANGELES – Throughout the pandemic, a number of daily activities – from distance learning to retraining – have required an internet connection, yet 9.6%, or 1.25 million homes in California remain not connected1.
To help bridge the digital divide in California and meet the need for reliable internet access, Verizon and the Los Angeles Unified School District have extended their existing partnership to provide eligible families with access to mobile broadband plans, voice services and equipment through state, local or nonprofit organizations in California.
Los Angeles Unified first partnered with Verizon as part of its distance education program at the start of COVID-19-related school closures nationwide in March 2020. The landmark agreement has allowed Los Angeles Unified to provide Internet access to students whose families could not otherwise afford it. .
With this new amendment to the original agreement, Los Angeles Unified has become the latest partner in Verizon’s new National Digital Inclusion Program, which includes the Georgia Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The program consists of discounted deals that support economic and social development by enabling state and local government agencies, school districts or non-profit organizations to provide affordable internet access to low-income families and individuals.
The Unified Los Angeles Amendment also serves to expand the existing distance learning program to allow public libraries to benefit from the same contract terms as California K-12 schools.
“Internet access has become an essential learning tool for students and their families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Los Angeles Unified Acting Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “Last year, Los Angeles Unified created the original path to connect students to our school community, and we’re excited that families across California can access an even more affordable Internet in partnership with Verizon.”
“This new phase of our historic partnership with Los Angeles Unified expands our distance learning program to include other populations in California who need Internet access to continue their education, retrain for a job, or perform work. ‘other critical online tasks,’ said Jennifer Chronis, senior vice president. President, Verizon Public Sector. “This amendment to our long-standing partnership with Los Angeles Unified is the next step in our commitment to ensure that everyone who needs access to a reliable connection in California – and across the country – has the ability to. to access.”
California state and local government agencies, school districts, and nonprofits interested in benefiting from Verizon’s digital inclusion or distance learning programs can visit https: //info.public.solution. verizon.com/Contact-Me.html for more information.
1 Getting more Californians online is the catalyst to crushing the wall of poverty – California Emerging Technology Fund and University of Southern California – March 30, 2021