Over the past few weeks we've been busy speaking with school administrators regarding the importance of internet access. If you have a student at Hoover High School take note: they are really doing some exciting things on the campus to bring students into the second decade of the 21st century! We will soon have a separate blog entry on those changes.
Another thing we've been working on is to talk with local and state officials regarding the issue of non-access for lower income families. On November 1 we met with State Sen. Jabo Waggoner and State Representative Paul DeMarco. We had the opportunity to introduce both of them to one of the students who is affected by this problem.
On Wednesday, November 9, 2011 we received an e-mail with a link to a Washington Post story. The name of the story is FCC plans cheap Internet service and computers to connect poor Americans . Basically the story indicates that ISPs are going to provide families who have students on the Free/Reduced Lunch Program internet access for $10/month and will contract a company to provide these families with refurbished laptops for $150. The plan is basically a mirror of the Comcast plan rolled out earlier this year and will be implemented in the spring of 2012.
So...mission accomplished? Did our comversation with Sen. Sessions' office (spoke with Graham Hixon on 8/18/11) make a difference? Remember, Mr. Hixon indicated that he was meeting with the FCC that day, however it was dealing with the ATT/T-Mobile merger. I decided to call Mr. Hixon and he indicated that he was very happy with the news, but that it was something that the FCC had been working on for a while with the different cable companies.
Frankly, we don't care how it got done. The point is that it got done. This move by the FCC will benefit millions (25 million to be exact, according to the article) of students, assuming all ISPs are on board. Let's hope they are.