Zoom, Google Classroom, or Facetime. No matter what platform your school is using for remote or distance learning...your son or daughter will need an internet connection.
That's a problem in Alabama, when nearly 34% of the population doesn't have a connection.
Now this...free internet! It's thanks to the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program.
Voucher letters are going out August 24, 2020 that parents can use for free high speed internet service through December 30, 2020.
If you qualify, this is what you will need to do:
- Call an internet provider listed in your voucher letter
- Say “I have an Alabama ABC voucher.”
- Receive equipment and installation support from your internet provider.
- Connect to distance learning.
The vouchers covers the cost of equipment, installation fees and internet service.
So who's paying for it?
The money is part of $100 million dollars allocated by Governor Kay Ivey from from states federal CARES Act funding to help states safeguard schools amid the growing spread of COVID-19.
But it's only available to certain eligible K-12 students. Students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program are automatically eligible, which is limited to households earning $48,470 or less for a family of four.
The voucher can be used once, with one internet service provider, to sign up for service for the duration of the program. Enrolled households will not receive any bills and will not be charged any additional fees by the internet service provider.
It's all about leveling the playing field and closing the digital divide... after all...parents, students, and teachers...will have enough to worry about this fall.
If you have questions or need assistance in Spanish, call the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program at 1-888-212-4998 or visit their website at www.abcstudents.org (website also available in Vietnamese and Lao).