Verizon exec: Reliable connectivity is a ‘fundamental right for all students’
As part of its broader mission to expand digital access and resources to promote digital equity and inclusion, Verizon announced that is providing advanced connectivity solutions to approximately 80 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools operated by Native American tribes on 64 reservations in 13 states. By doing so, the carrier is supporting the BIE’s efforts to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood on.
“A quality, high-bandwidth connection is critical for students to be able to learn from wherever they are — especially in more remote areas,” said Maggie Hallbach, senior vice president for Verizon Public Sector. “We believe this is a fundamental right for all students, and by upgrading the technology and infrastructure across these tribal lands, including many with Gigabit connections, we’re helping BIE with its mission to enable a more comprehensive learning experience, preparing these students for the future.”
Thousands of students are expected to gain access to reliable, high-speed internet service and connected devices as a result of Verizon’s investment, with some receiving this access as early as this fall. The overall infrastructure work across the 13 states will take place through next year, said the carrier.
Verizon said it worked with “multiple third-party access suppliers to design and engineer special access arrangements on a site-by-site basis.”
Previously, Verizon has upgraded more than 100 sites from legacy T1.5s to 100 MB sites, work awarded via the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Networx contract, with many of those schools now accessing 1Gb internet connections through an extension of Verizon’s existing Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) task order.
As national protests against police brutality spread across the the U.S. in 2020, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made an impassioned statement at the end of which he announced a commitment, on behalf of the Verizon Foundation, to donate $10 million to several social justice organizations, including — but not limited to —The National Urban League, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Rainbow Push Coalition.