Making Connections in Cleveland

Molly Kocour Boyle – President, AT&T Ohio
October 13, 2022
Broadband Access and Affordability, Community Impact

Making Connections in Cleveland

The new clothes and shoes purchased for the start of another school year are starting to feel more comfortable. Students are getting to know their teachers. Parents are helping their families settle into fresh fall routines, and some households in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood are making new connections that will bridge the digital divide.

AS3 group with council members

The AT&T Connected Learning Center located within the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center, or ASC3, welcomed about a hundred neighbors for a recent Back-To-School Block Party. In addition to free food, line dancing, indoor and outdoor games, families were able to pick up information about the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Through AT&T’s participation in the ACP, we are easing the burden of internet costs for Ohio families. In fact, more than 85,000 households in the Cleveland area have signed up for the ACP.1

Families visiting the ASC3 block party learned that those who qualify to receive the ACP benefit also qualify for our “Access from AT&T” plan.2 The ACP provides eligible households with a benefit of up to $30 a month (up to $75 on qualifying Tribal lands) to reduce the cost of broadband service and can be applied to AT&T Fiber.

Additionally, those who qualify can apply ACP benefits to Access from AT&T to get internet speeds of up to 100Mbps, where available, for $0.3

“Person by person and family by family, that digital divide is shrinking, and more families are becoming connected to the digital economy.”

~ Wanda Davis, ASC3 Executive Director

AS3However, broadband access requires more than internet service. A computer or other device brings the connection to life. The Connected Learning Center at ASC3 offered good news at their block party for families in need: refurbished laptops provided by AT&T earlier in the year remained available. Twenty neighborhood parents with school-age children took laptops home that day.

“Most told us they’d be putting those laptops to use right away, both to help the adults with work, and for the kids’ school-related activities,” said Wanda Davis, ASC3 Executive Director. “While a couple dozen of the families who visited told us they did know about the Affordable Connectivity Program, we found more than a dozen who did not. Every time people walk into our Connected Learning Center, we’re spreading the word.  Person by person and family by family, that digital divide is shrinking, and more families are becoming connected to the digital economy.”

AT&T Connected Learning

Up next in Cleveland, the Connected Learning Center at ASC3 will offer workshops this fall where neighborhood kids will assemble STEM robots with the help of local AT&T employees. They’ll no doubt have fun, but those workshops are also another part of our work to bridge the digital divide.

While we’ve provided high quality connectivity to hundreds of homes in this neighborhood, it’s also important that families here and across Ohio know how to use the internet safely and effectively. We’re building confidence in the digital tools needed to succeed. Building cool STEM robots will be yet another step toward greater connectivity.

1 ACP Enrollment and Claims Tracker | Universal Service Administrative Co.

2 Available in the 21 states where AT&T offers wireline home internet services.

3 Plans up to 100Mbps. Limited availability in select areas. Terms, conditions, and restrictions apply. Free internet subject to continued participation in the ACP and application of the ACP benefit to Access from AT&T plans.