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Apple Pledges $100 Million in Equipment to President Obama's ConnectED Initiative for Schools
Apple is pledging $100 million in iPads, computers and other tools. AT&T and Sprint are contributing free Internet service through their wireless networks. Verizon is pitching in up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions. And Microsoft is making Windows available at discounted prices and offering 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office software.
Obama was to announce the commitments Tuesday at a middle school in the Maryland suburbs near Washington. Also in the pipeline: an addition $2 billion that the Federal Communications Commission is setting aside from service fees over two years to connect another 20 million students to high-speed Internet.
During the recent State of the Union address, President Obama mentioned that Apple and other tech companies would be providing the hardware and software needed to connect over 15,000 schools and 20 million students to the Internet in the next two years. Apple confirmed its role in the project in a statement provided to The Loop, but did not offer any specific details on its role at that time.
These corporate contributions will help fulfill ConnectED's goal of connecting 99 percent of U.S. students to the Internet within five years. When President Obama announced this goal last June, only one in five students had access to a broadband Internet connection.
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