AT&T Opens a New Connected Learning Center in Detroit
AT&T Opens Connected Learning Center at Jefferson East to Help Bridge the Digital Divide in Detroit
New center will give Detroit youth and parents greater access to the internet and technology
What’s the news? As part of our $2 billion commitment to help bridge the digital divide, AT&T* Michigan today opened a new AT&T Connected Learning Center inside Jefferson East Inc.’s** (JEI) new Neighborhood Resource Hub in Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood.
Why is this important? In Detroit, it’s estimated that 25 percent of residents don’t have access to the internet, an issue known as the digital divide. The center will provide high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, Dell Technologies computers — as well as education, tutoring and mentoring resources — for local students and community members. We are also contributing $50,000 in support of JEI programming.
“Our investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center at Jefferson East directly reflects our commitment to address the digital divide and make an impact in the communities we serve,” said AT&T Michigan President David Lewis. “AT&T is committed to helping ensure the success of all Detroiters, and this Connected Learning Center will help connect the city’s underserved students and families to the technology they need.”
JEI works to build inclusive neighborhoods along Detroit’s east Jefferson corridor and its five adjoining historic neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Resource Hub, which opened in late 2021, provides its eastside community with several critical services and resources designed to help keep residents in their homes.
“This collaboration with AT&T at our Neighborhood Resource Hub provides essential connectivity and digital resources to some of our most vulnerable students and families,” said Josh Elling, JEI CEO. “The Connected Learning Center is the perfect addition to the Neighborhood Resource Hub, giving families access to critical resources that will help them be successful now and into the future.”
“Digital connectivity has become a critical part of education for young people, and yet so many Detroit youth still don’t have digital access,” said Monique Holliday of Hope Community Outreach and Development. “This collaboration between AT&T and JEI helps ensures students in the area can have better digital support so they can learn and grow into thriving adults.”
“I applaud AT&T for their continued investment in Detroit with their new Connected Learning Center,” said Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14). “In an increasingly digital world, technology and connectivity resources are more important now than ever. This will provide the much-needed support for underserved Detroiters while helping close the digital divide.”
This is the first AT&T Connected Learning Center launched in Detroit. The company has plans to open more than 20 centers across the country. Centers will be housed within local organizations that support under-resourced populations, including some of our nation’s most vulnerable students and families.
“AT&T’s continued collaboration and investment in the city of Detroit is going to make a significant impact for our residents,” said City Council President Mary Sheffield. “Support like this will set Detroiters up to be successful now and into the future.”
And as part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies will donate Dell OptiPlex computers and Dell monitors which feature integrated audio and webcams to support virtual learning. Overland-Tandberg, a leading global technology and IT services company, will lead the onsite configuration of the computers.
How else are we supporting underserved residents in Detroit?
We are working through non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to help more individuals in Detroit gain digital skills and access to technology. Operation ABLE, a division of Spectrum Human Services, will get computers for their community center that helps adults find employment via personalized searches, job placement, occupational training and career transition services.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency will hire a full-time Digital Navigator and Coach. They serve over 35,000 low and moderate-income residents throughout Southeast Michigan, providing over 70 programs including housing stability services, free tax preparation, Head Start, and more.
We offer affordable internet options
We’re continuing to help make internet more affordable for millions of eligible households around the country, including in Detroit. Eligible households can sign up for free internet service by combining the $30 a month benefit from the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program with our low-cost Access from AT&T plan. The new Access from AT&T plan now provides faster internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps for $30 a month, up from 10 Mbps provided in our original Access from AT&T plan. In addition, there’s no cap on data usage with the new Access from AT&T plan. Details are available at att.com/internet/access.
We are committed to providing comprehensive, agile and affordable solutions for education institutions, libraries and government entities to connect students, teachers, library patrons and underserved constituents. Since March 2020, AT&T has connected more than 600,000 students and teachers, across 50 states, in collaboration with departments of education, school districts, and higher education institutions.
We are expanding our network
We will continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to this area. From 2018-2020, we expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $625 million investment in our wireless and wireline networks in metro Detroit. In the state of Michigan, AT&T Fiber covers about 3 million fiber strand miles. In addition, we are bringing more 5G to the area in the coming months and years. Just this month, we introduced our newest spectrum of 5G+, C-Band, in limited parts of Detroit. This will enhance our 5G performance.
Learn more at att.com/connectedlearning.