President Obama Announces Program Expanding Broadband Internet Access

The new initiative, ConnectHome, will affect more than 250,000 low-income households

President Obama announced a new initiative today that will bring Internet access to more than a quarter million homes.

Funded by local governments and tech corporations, ConnectHome will bring broadband service to 28 cities, affecting a nearly 200,000 children who currently lack online access at home.

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"While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends," White House officials said in a statement.

Eight Internet providers, including Sprint and Google Fiber, have partnered with the initiative and will offer their services at a reduced rate in the yet-to-be-announced communities. Additionally, companies like Best Buy will provide technical support to residents who receive the services.

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White House officials said that they hope the increased access will help narrow the achievement gap by providing low-income students with the at-home resources they need to successfully complete their homework.

"The stakes are clear," Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro said at a press conference today. "Families living in the 21st century need 21st century tools to thrive."

President Obama hasn't announced when ConnectHome will be introduced.

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