Cox Communications announced on Sept. 13 that they will offer discounted internet service — for about $10 per month — for families whose children are eligible for the reduced-price lunch plan.
The effort is through the company’s Connect2Compete program, which was previously only available to families with a child on free lunch through the National School Lunch Program. Based on income guidelines for this school year, a family of two that earns $29,637 a year is eligible for the reduced price lunch program.
A family of three that earns $37,296 a year is eligible for the reduced-price lunch program. Eligibility for free- or reduced-price lunch is often used as a way to gauge the poverty level of a school or community.
It is one of the 16 metrics in the Studer Community Institute's Pensacola Metro Dashboard. The Dashboard was designed with the University of West Florida to provide a snapshot of the economic, educational and social well-being of the community.
As of last school year, 60.6 percent of Escambia School District students were eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch. The state rate is 60.2 percent.
Eligibility also extends to families with at least one K-12 student who live in HUD-assisted housing, or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“We’re making it easier for low-income families to get an internet connection at home by significantly broadening the eligibility requirements for discounted service through the Connect2Compete program,” said David Deliman, Cox’s Gulf Coast market vice president. “
With a fast, reliable internet connection at home, the entire family can become more engaged with their child’s education. Students can access homework assignments while parents are empowered to better communicate with teachers and become more involved with school events. It’s a win-win for the entire family.”
Key elements of the Connect2Compete program include:
— Internet access at the discounted price of $9.95/month.
— No price increases, no activation fees, and no equipment rental fees associated with the high-speed Internet program for two years.
— Free in-home WiFi, free installation and free access to hundreds of thousands of WiFi hotspots strategically located in markets across the country through Cox WiFi and Cable WiFi.
Cox Communications was the first internet service provider to work with Connect2Compete and the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a pilot test of the program in our San Diego market in spring of 2012. Families cannot have subscribed to Cox High Speed Internet service within the last 90 days, and may not have any outstanding bills or unreturned equipment with Cox.
For more information or to sign up for Connect2Compete call (855) 222-3252, or visit www.connect2compete.org/cox.