AT&T Opens Connected Learning Center in San Francisco to Help Bridge the Digital Divide

New dedicated learning center in Visitation Valley will provide greater connectivity, devices and digital learning resources for students and parents

What’s the news? AT&T* is opening a new Connected Learning Center inside the Asian Pacific American Community Center (APACC) in San Francisco to provide internet access and education tools to those who face connectivity barriers vital to their long-term success. It’s part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative and our $2 billion commitment to address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption.

This is the second Connected Learning Center that AT&T has opened in California. In  December 2021, AT&T opened an AT&T Connected Learning Center in Los Angeles. In all, AT&T is opening more than 20 centers across the country. The goal of the centers is to encourage more families to get connected through free access to the internet and education resources that teach the value of broadband and how to use it safely and effectively. Centers will be housed within local organizations that support underserved populations, including some of our nation’s most vulnerable students and families.

Why is this important? When nearly all of California’s schools and colleges switched to distance learning in spring 2020, it created an unprecedented demand for internet at home, particularly in households with multiple users. Despite efforts to increase availability, 26% of K–12 students and nearly 40% of low-income students still did not have reliable internet access in fall 2020. According to the April 2020 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Statewide Survey, half of Californian parents were concerned about providing productive home learning environments.1

“AT&T has been committed to connecting Californians for more than 140 years. We’ve seen the impacts the digital divide can have on a community and we want to step in and help by providing connectivity, but equally as important, education resources and mentoring support,” said Rhonda Johnson, President - AT&T California. “By collaborating with the Asian Pacific American Community Center, this AT&T

Connected Learning Center will help connect the city’s underserved students and families to the technology and learning support they need.”

How we will make it happen

The new center will help to bridge the digital divide by providing students and families in San Francisco’s Visitation Valley access to education, mentoring and tutoring resources, as well as high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, and computers.

Education resources will be available within the center to help students and families participate in digital engagement. This includes The Achievery, a free digital learning platform created by AT&T, as well as free digital literacy courses and workshops created with the Public Library Association.

As part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies donated 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, led the onsite configuration of the computers. The company, a Black-owned corporation, is part of AT&T’s $3 billion Supplier Diversity initiative.

“This collaboration with AT&T is a critical link to connectivity for Asian Pacific American families living in Visitation Valley,” said Rex Tabora, executive director, APACC. “Most of our clients are low- to moderate-income immigrant families with limited English proficiency. Providing access will be essential to closing the homework gap and improving educational outcomes for the students and families we serve.”

APACC’s mission is to help strengthen Asian Pacific American families living in Visitation Valley by providing linguistically and culturally appropriate programs and services.

How else are we supporting underserved communities in San Francisco?

We offer affordable internet options

We’re continuing to help make internet more affordable for millions of eligible households around the country, including in San Francisco. 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, which provides faster internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

We support digital inclusion efforts

AT&T supports the San Francisco community by providing funding to local community organizations tackling the digital divide, including organizations that work with seniors, youth, and underrepresented communities. We collaborate with San Francisco Bay Area based organizations including Black Girls Code, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Community Tech Network, Dev/Mission, Self Help for the Elderly and Vets in Tech on digital inclusion efforts.

We are expanding our network

In addition to our community investment in San Francisco, we also continue to invest in bringing fiber and connectivity to this area. From 2018-2020, we expanded coverage and improved connectivity with a nearly $1.3 billion investment in our wireless and wireline networks in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. At the end 2021, AT&T Fiber covered more than 8 million fiber strand miles in the state of California.

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