Superintendent’s Memo No. 225-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 22, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Broadband Provider Adoption Programs

Many school divisions are increasingly relying on the Internet and online services to support the curriculum, yet many students do not have Internet access at home. The cable telecommunications industry is helping to address this challenge by making broadband access more affordable in homes for qualifying families. I wanted to make you aware of two programs that may be of assistance to eligible students in your division.

Comcast offers the Internet Essentials program which brings broadband, a laptop computer, and digital literacy training to qualifying students and their families. If a student is currently eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program and is in Comcast’s service area, they are eligible for broadband service for $9.95 per month, a netbook computer for $149.99, and digital literacy training. Once a student is enrolled in this program, they are able to continue until graduation. New residential customers who meet the eligibility criteria may be eligible for up to six months of complimentary Internet service by applying now through September 20 of this school year. For additional information regarding this program, visit or contact Kenneth Dye, Director of Government and Community Affairs, by e-mail at or by phone at (804) 915-5302.

Cox Communications has partnered with Connect2Compete to establish a broadband adoption program that provides affordable Internet service to qualifying households in their service area with a child eligible for free lunch under the National School Lunch Program. For households that are eligible, Internet service is $9.95 a month for two years. There is no deposit or contract required and no installation or modem rental fees. To determine eligibility, visit or call toll free at 1-855-222-3252. For more information on this program, contact Tracy Kubicz by e-mail at or by phone at (757) 222-8158.

For more information about broadband provider adoption programs, contact Gail Warren, project coordinator, Office of Digital Innovations and Outreach, by e-mail at or by phone at (757) 470-3017.