Cox Communications Announces Major Effort to Close the Digital Divide with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome Initiative

Cox Communications  April 14, 2016

Cox Communications today announced a major investment in its efforts to narrow the digital divide through its support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative. Cox Communications is extending its Connect2Compete low-cost Internet offering to any HUD-assisted household with school-age children within Cox’s 18-state service area. It is the first Internet service provider within the ConnectHome umbrella to extend such an offering throughout its entire nationwide footprint. This investment from Cox Communications has the potential to impact nearly 250,000 students across the nation currently residing in HUD-assisted homes.

Cox Communications President Pat Esser joined HUD Secretary Julián Castro in Phoenix, Ariz., at the Phoenix Landing Apartments complex to make this important announcement. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was also on hand along with a number of Phoenix Landing residents and community supporters. Following the announcement, Cox Communications hosted a Connect2Compete enrollment event for residents to sign up for the service and schedule their installation dates. Cox also announced the donation of a new Cox Technology Center to the Phoenix Landing Apartment community, providing all residents access to the Internet.

In making today’s announcement, Esser noted the importance of community leaders who recognize the benefit of students having Internet access in order to compete in the classroom and in their careers.

“Technology and the Internet play an increasingly critical role in the education of our youth. Yet, students cannot take the Internet home in their backpacks,” said Esser. “We are committed to staying at the forefront of the Internet adoption movement. Through strong partnerships in the communities we serve, we will build more bridges to enable all families to cross the digital divide, regardless of where they live.”

“ConnectHome is expanding opportunity for our nation’s next generation of inventors, CEOs and artists,” said Secretary Castro. “Today’s announcement will transform the lives of kids across the country, opening the door for students to live up to their full potential and not be limited in what they can achieve.”

Building on the Obama administration’s goal to expand high-speed broadband to all Americans, in July 2015, President Obama and Secretary Castro announced ConnectHome, an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing. Through ConnectHome, Internet service providers, nonprofits and the private sector are offering broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs and devices for residents in assisted housing units in 28 pilot communities across the nation. While nearly two-thirds of America’s lowest income households own a computer, less than half have a home Internet subscription. HUD’s ConnectHome initiative strives to ensure that students can access the same level of high-speed Internet at home that they possess in their classrooms.

In today’s 21st century global economy, 90 percent of college applications are submitted online. Students without access to high-speed Internet access are left without the tools and digital literacy skills critical for success.

Since last July, Cox Communications has been collaborating with HUD, local governments, community leaders and nonprofit organizations to provide affordable broadband access to families receiving HUD housing assistance in four communities: Meriden, Connecticut; Macon, Georgia; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Click here for more information about the ConnectHome Initiative.

Cox has led the industry by voluntarily offering affordable Internet service to low-income families with school-aged children. Along with the FCC, Cox is a founding partner of the Connect2Compete program, which is modeled after an Internet adoption initiative the company established in the late 1990s. Since 2012, more than 160,000 people have been connected to the Internet through Cox’s Connect2Compete efforts. Notably, more than half of low-income families who benefit from discounted Internet access report having seen improved grades for children in the home.

“Internet access is critical to education, job hunting, shopping and utilizing city services in the 21st century,” said Mayor Stanton. “I applaud this public-private partnership because we cannot afford to let any students and families in our community become marginalized because they lack access to the Web.”

Committed to serving the students and their families across the community, the company also has funded more than 75 Cox Technology Centers across its 18-state footprint. Its commercial services division, Cox Business, provides Internet services to more than 7,400 schools serving 4 million students.

Cox’s Connect2Compete service is $9.95 per month for eligible families, and includes download speeds up to 10 Mbps, free in-home Wi-Fi, free installation, and free access to hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots strategically located in markets across the country through Cox Wi-Fi and cable Wi-Fi.

To apply or learn more, visit www.connect2compete.org/cox or call 855-222-3252.

Cox operates six clustered cable systems in 18 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Virginia.

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising. Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces.

For eight years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; Cox has ranked among DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity 10 times, including the last nine years. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available atwww.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.

About HUD

For over 50 years, HUD’s mission has been to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.

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