During President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, he mentioned ConnectED, the program that Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, along with the Federal Communications Commission are involved in to provide the framework for connecting over 15,000 schools and 20 million students to high-speed Internet over the next two years.
The move is a part of the ConnectED initiative that the President announced back in June, which pledged to connect 99% of students to next-generation, high-speed broadband within five years, at speeds no less than 100 Mbps and with a target of 1Gbps.
“Last year, I also pledged to connect 99 percent of our students to high-speed broadband over the next four years. Tonight I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, we’ve got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit.”
“We are proud to join President Obama in this historic initiative to transform America’s schools,” Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop. “Apple has a long history in education, and we have pledged to contribute MacBooks, iPads, software and our expertise to support the ConnectED project. We look forward to announcing more details with the White House soon.”
The President will reportedly announce “new philanthropic partnerships” (PDF) with the tech companies in the coming weeks.