Mobile Beacon, a leading provider of low-cost 4G mobile broadband service exclusively to the education and nonprofit sectors, is today announcing a new grant program that donates laptops, modems, and Internet service. Qualified educational entities in select areas of the country will be eligible to receive up to 25 laptops and modems for disadvantaged or at-risk students so they can continue their studies remotely.
“Broadband creates tremendous opportunities for schools and students alike. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission noted that broadband has greater potential to transform education than any other technological innovation in our lifetime,” said Katherine Messier, Director of Mobile Beacon. “This grant was developed to help schools engage a critical population of students by providing mobile Internet access and the ability to ‘sign out’ equipment for those who do not have Internet access at home,” she said.
If all 25 laptops and modems are awarded, the estimated value of the equipment donation is more than $15,000. Additionally, as part of the grant, Mobile Beacon will provide unlimited* 4G Internet service through June 2012 for each modem given to the selected schools or districts. This free Internet service period represents an additional savings of $3,000. At the end of the free service period, grant recipients are not obligated to continue using Mobile Beacon’s service or return any donated equipment; though they will be given the opportunity to apply for ongoing broadband service at the available heavily discounted rate that the company offers, currently $10/month for unlimited 4G access.
“Our mission is to make next-generation broadband service accessible and affordable to the nonprofit sector. Recognizing that many schools don’t have funds immediately available even for our heavily reduced service rate, we structured this grant so that recipients receive free Internet access through the remainder of the next school year,” Messier explained. “Our hope is that this grant enables schools to immediately start using this technology to serve their most at-need students, while giving them time to plan and budget for our ongoing, low-cost service.”
This grant program is available in a total of 51 cities in 22 states† including: Mobile, AL; Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Phoenix, AZ; Hot Springs, Little Rock, AR; Fresno, Palm Springs, Santa Rosa, Yuba City, CA; Colorado Springs, Denver, La Junta, CO; Bradenton, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Melbourne, Ocala, Sarasota, FL; Hilo, Kona, HI; Boise, ID; Fort Wayne, South Bend, IN; Des Moines, IA; Emporia, Great Bend, Hays, Salina, KS; Holt, Lansing, MI; Atlantic City, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown, OH; Enid, Lawton, OK; Lancaster, York, PA; Providence, RI; Memphis, TN; Austin, Killeen, Waco, Sherman, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Kennewick, Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, WA.
In order to apply for a grant, an interested school or district should complete a grant application on the education section of Mobile Beacon’s website and submit it along with a cover letter detailing how this specific program will be used to advance its educational mission.