With many school districts opting for full or hybrid distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand, today announced that Buffalo Public Schools will deploy the Spectrum Enterprise Stay Connected K-12 solution to help connect students who lack internet service at home.
Stay Connected K-12 provides schools the ability to offer high-speed, cable broadband internet access directly to their students in their own homes so learning and teaching are uninterrupted. Students' families are not billed for the service, and the Buffalo Bills Social Justice Fund has donated $500,000 to the school district to help cover the program's costs.
Stay Connected K-12 combines the robust speeds and rich features of Spectrum Internet with simplified program management and billing for local districts through Spectrum Enterprise. Users can enjoy:
- Download speeds up to 50 Mbps to support video collaboration and large file transfers.
- In-home WiFi to connect all of the WiFi enabled devices in the residence.
- Unlimited usage with no data caps, providing schools/districts with a consistent cost per user.
- Self-installation kit with modem and router that allows end-users to get connected quickly and easily, with no intervention required from schools/districts.
- 24/7/365 technical support, relieving schools/districts of the responsibility of technical support for the end-user connections.
"Through Stay Connected K-12, the Spectrum Enterprise team is helping close the digital divide, providing the high quality connectivity needed to have a successful educational experience," said Bill Archer, Charter Executive Vice President and President of Spectrum Enterprise. "The turnkey solution is easy for school administrators to put into place, freeing them to maximize their focus on learning and student achievement."
Charter is already connecting thousands of students and educators through Stay Connected K-12 agreements throughout its 41-state footprint and is working with officials at Buffalo Public Schools to connect students quickly.
"Teachers and staff across Buffalo Public Schools are dedicated to providing each child equal access to high-quality education. We are grateful to the Buffalo Bills and Spectrum Enterprise for helping to ensure that we continue to deliver on that promise," said Myra Burden, Chief Technology Officer for Buffalo Public Schools in Buffalo, New York.
"It is such an amazing feeling that we were able to help so many kids out," said Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes. "It's a crazy time we are dealing with as so many kids are not able to go to school. The fact that we were able to provide so many homes with a simple tool such as the internet so they could continue their education is an incredible feeling. I know how important education is. It can help a long way to get you out of any situation you are in. The fact that we were able to provide these resources for these kids so that they can better themselves and continue their learning process, I'm ecstatic, and I know my teammates are super happy. And we just want to wish them nothing but the best."
The addition of Stay Connected K-12 builds on the relationship that Spectrum Enterprise has enjoyed with Buffalo Public Schools for over 30 years, and expands on the company's dedication to expanding broadband access during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included connecting 448,000 students, teachers, and their families to broadband service for 60 days at no cost; protecting from disconnection 700,000 customers who indicated economic hardship due to COVID-19; and forgiving $85 million in customers' overdue balances.