LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the creation of the Angeleno Connectivity Trust (ACT), an initiative to help deliver internet access to vulnerable young people — including students experiencing homelessness, those in foster care, and youth with disabilities.
Working with T-Mobile’s Project 10Million, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, and several community-based organizations, ACT will offer 100 GB of free internet connectivity to students who need it the most. The agreement would provide that level of connectivity to 18,000 students for five years, renewable on an annual basis.
“The COVID-19 crisis has created extraordinary challenges for our most vulnerable young people,” said Mayor Garcetti. “ACT will help ensure connectivity for students who face some of the highest hurdles, by deploying a community-led response to help close the digital divide for students too often shut out of quick or easy internet access.”
“T-Mobile’s Project 10Million is all about helping students AND educators, and we are proud to support Mayor Garcetti as he works to provide the tools and resources kids need to keep up with their connected peers,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “Especially in today’s remote COVID-19 learning environment, students without reliable internet face a total disconnection from their virtual classroom. Connectivity opens doors to opportunity and a brighter future, and we at T-Mobile believe every single child is deserving of that access.”
ACT builds upon the work of Mayor Garcetti’s Telecommunications and Digital Equity Forum, a regular convening of City agencies and private sector telecommunications actors that focuses on ways to improve internet access equitably across the City. The initiative will identify students in need through partnerships with the City’s YouthSource and FamilySource Centers, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), L.A. Public Library, and local organizations including Brotherhood Crusade, School on Wheels, North Valley Caring Services, and the Coalition for Responsible Community Development. This effort comes after the Mayor’s recent announcement of a separate program to provide free internet to L.A. residents living in public housing developments.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the inequities that some students face, and connectivity and accessibility affected our students — unhoused students — tremendously,” said Charles Evans, Executive Director of School on Wheels. “Our students went too long without the basics: no computer, no wifi, no home, and very little hope. So we are fully committed, moving forward, to lessening the digital and connectivity divide that our students face and providing them with as many resources as possible to keep up with their studies.”
To find more information about ACT, families and students can visit LAMayor.org/Connectivity or call 311. Angelenos can also visit the Get Connected Los Angeles site at GetConnectedLosAngeles.LACity.org — a partnership with the Mayor’s Office, California Emerging Technologies Fund, Everyone On, Human-IT, and the City’s Information Technology Agency — to learn about free and low-cost options for Angelenos to get internet access and devices.
Mayor Garcetti is leading Los Angeles through the pandemic with a focus on ensuring equity and access to resources for all Angelenos — offering free COVID-19 testing citywide, delivering tenant protections and rental relief funds, and providing cash assistance to some of the city’s hardest-hit households.
About Project 10Million
T-Mobile’s Project 10Million is a $10.7 billion initiative aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households at no cost to them. Partnering with school districts across the country, the program offers free wireless hotspots and free high-speed data – and access to at-cost laptops and tablets. And as the COVID-19 pandemic makes remote learning the new norm for millions of students across the U.S., the Un-carrier enhanced Project 10Million to offer more low-cost data options, including unlimited, for school districts to pass on to student households at no cost to them. Interested school administrators or parents interested in learning more about the program can visit T-Mobile.com/p10m.
About the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles
The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving life for all Angelenos. Bringing together institutions and experts from across the City, the Fund supports programs to create transformative change across Los Angeles, making it a world leader in economic prosperity, government efficiency, community resiliency, and quality of life for all of its residents. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of local government, business, philanthropy, and nonprofits, the Fund sparks communication and collaboration to tackle some of Los Angeles’ most complex challenges. The Fund is supported by private donations and is overseen by an independent Board of Directors. Visit MayorsFundLA.org for more information.