In the game of basketball, communication between players and coaches on the floor can make the difference of who wins the game. The same could be said to fully participate in today’s connected society. But not everyone has access to the internet, computers or the digital skills needed to benefit from the online world.
The good news is Utah has made strides in increasing broadband access. As president of AT&T Utah, I’ve seen several hundred million dollars invested just by AT&T to expand wireless broadband in Utah – which doesn’t even account for investment from other providers.
But together we can do more—and we are. As AT&T tipped off our presence during NBA All-Star week in Salt Lake City, I had the honor of teaming up with Mayor Erin Mendenhall, NBA Legend and former Utah Jazz player, Boris Diaw, and the non-profit Human I-T to help connect more Utahns.
As part of our nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide, AT&T worked with Human-I-T and local organizations to distribute 325 laptops to those in need. By providing students and families with computers, it will give them the opportunity to gain the access required to thrive and succeed. From completing homework to filling out job applications, recipients can connect to greater possibilities.
The Salt Lake Education Foundation, Latinos in Action, Promise South Salt Lake and Neighborhood House helped select each of the recipients. And because access alone isn’t enough, the computers are pre-loaded with digital literacy resources. Students and families also received one-year hardware warranties.
In addition, Human-I-T provided tech support and information about low-cost internet options made possible by the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal program created as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Among other things, this program can help qualified households pay for connectivity services such as wireless and internet plans.
Like basketball fans at home, across the country, and the globe—I’m excited to spend the weekend immersed in the AT&T 5G events and activations at the NBA All-Star. But after the final buzzer sounds, my lasting memory will be the world of possibilities that have opened this week for the Utahns we connected together.