T-Mobile has launched Project 10Million, an unprecedented $10.7B initiative aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households at no cost to them.
Partnering with school districts across the country, the program offers free wireless hotspots, free high-speed data and access to laptops and tablets, at-cost. And as the COVID-19 pandemic makes remote learning the new norm for millions of students across the U.S., the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million to offer more data options, including unlimited, for school districts to pass on to eligible student households at no cost to them.
Why it matters: Even before the pandemic, more than 9 million of America’s 56 million school-age kids did not have access to reliable internet and could not complete after-school assignments. This critical homework gaphas tremendous short- and long-term impacts: lower test scores, lower grades and limited opportunities after graduation.
Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented 50 million students are learning remotely. Those without reliable internet connectivity will face an even bigger schoolwork gap as they are unable to participate in any type of online classroom learning.
Who it’s for: Unconnected students trying to keep up in school, parents who watch their kids struggle because they can’t afford internet access, and the teachers who are tackling the everyday challenge of teaching kids who can’t get connected at home.
With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a video today, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.
But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.
T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work.
Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.
Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was ahomework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.
To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data.
Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students.
“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”
As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.
The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.
Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts.
Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.
“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”
Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.
For more information about Project 10Million, or to sign up a school district for the program, go to t-mobile.com/p10m.