WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 1, 2009 – The Internet Innovation Alliance, a broad-based coalition supporting broadband availability and access for all Americans, today released the following statement in support of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Adoption Plus (“A+”) program:
“We commend the NCTA for launching this innovative new program that aims to directly provide broadband Internet access to unserved middle school students. This public-private partnership will provide up to 3.5 million middle school-aged children in low-income households with access to high-speed Internet and the opportunity to benefit from educational and life-enhancing tools. The A+ Program is a strong statement by the cable industry that broadband is a necessary technology for advancing America’s education system, and no child can afford to miss out.
“The A+ Programs epitomizes the enormous possibilities of public-private partnerships that maximize creativity and social entrepreneurship. Participating cable ISPs will provide funding to help identify eligible children, reduce costs for broadband service and a cable modem by 50 percent, and offer free installation of broadband service. Participating school districts would defray the cost of identifying and verifying eligible students, conducting the qualified digital literacy programs, and other administrative tasks.
“Over 90% of Americans have access to broadband but only 63% opt to sign up for service. This innovative program will tackle the most commonly-identified barriers to broadband adoption, including lack of digital literacy; failure to understand the benefits of broadband; and affordability (both of devices and monthly service). By allowing more children to take this key first step through the A+ Program and get online, the NCTA and its partners are making a significant contribution toward the ultimate goal of universal broadband for our country.”