President Obama recently announced ConnectHome, a new program which aims to bring cheap High-Speed internet to low-income households. The President states that the impetus for this program is a growing “homework gap” between homes that have internet access and those that don’t. Research by the White House Council of Economic indicates that less than half of low-income households have an internet connection.
Students without access to the Internet are at a disadvantage when it comes to doing research for homework assignments. While in the past students would have relied more on libraries for research, it is undeniable that research using online resources is quicker and offers access to information orders of magnitude greater than can be found in any library. Aside from research, the internet can be used to communicate with teachers during after school hours, and obtain valuable assistance.
ConnectHome will start as a pilot program, and will launch in 27 cities and one tribal nation. It is expected to bring internet access to 200,000 children. If successful, it will likely be expanded to bring internet access to even more households. This program works in tandem with ConnectED, a program designed to bring about greater internet access to students. ConnectED was announced in 2013, and works to bring internet access to more schools and libraries. The goal of ConnectED is to reach 99% of students by 2018.
The Obama Administration is cooperating with many private sector companies with this initiative. At some locations Google Fiber will provide free internet access to low-income families, while at others it can be purchased for the low price of $9.95 a month. Tablets with educational software installed will be available for $30 at Macon, Georgia. Other locations will have access free SAT preparation resources.
Do you agree with this program to bring Internet to low-income families? Or is the government overstepping its purpose? Leave your comments below.