Massachusetts and Verizon enable new digital inclusion


BOSTON, Sept. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – To help bridge the digital divide, and with the support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Verizon Public Sector today announced a new program to provide access to voice and data services wireless broadband to underserved communities in Massachusetts and eight neighboring states plus the District of Columbia. Verizon will provide turnkey connectivity, devices and other solutions available to eligible families who do not have Internet access.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts joins the Georgia Ministry of Education in Verizon’s program of state-sponsor agreements with state agencies and non-profit organizations to enable communities to provide low-income residents with Internet access in a quick and easy manner.

Under the Massachusetts agreement, state agencies or nonprofit organizations from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, DC can participate in this program. Eligible users of services in these states include those participating in the National School Meal Program, recipients of Pell Grants, or members of households (as defined by federal tax guidelines) whose household income is less than 135% of income designated by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of reliable internet access and the gaps in digital access. According to data from the Research Fund for the New American Economy, 43.7% of low-income households did not have personal high-speed Internet access at home, more than double that of the rest of the population. With many school systems implementing hybrid learning models this fall, the risk to students and families without internet access remains critical.

This digital inclusion program is modeled after the Verizon Distance Learning program, which provided access to reliable and affordable internet connections and solutions to more than 38 million students in 40 states and the District of Columbia during the pandemic. .

“During the pandemic, we have worked with state and local governments to provide connectivity for students transitioning to online education as quickly as possible,” said Jennifer Chronis, senior vice president of Verizon Public Sector. “A significant digital divide persists and our mission is to help bridge the connectivity gap by providing the easiest way for states and nonprofits to bring families online. “

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was incorporated on June 30, 2000 and is a leading global provider of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Based in New York and with a worldwide presence, Verizon generated sales of $ 128.3 billion in 2020. The company provides data, video and voice services and solutions over its networks and platforms. – Award-winning forms, meeting customer demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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