Increased Internet Speeds for Families on Connect2Compete Plan

Superintendent Hoffman and Cox Communications Announce Temporary Increase in Internet Speeds for Low-Income Families on Connect2Compete Plan

Connect2Compete plan available to families of Arizona K-12 students participating in a government assistance program

Phoenix, AZ – Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and Cox Communications today announced a critical increase in the speed of Cox’s Connect2Compete internet service. Starting this Friday, December 11th, Cox will temporarily double the Connect2Compete speed to 50 mbps/download for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year in all Cox markets, giving families and students peace of mind to complete schoolwork, communicate with teachers, and have the same opportunities to access information as their classmates.

The Connect2Compete plan is a low-cost internet plan designed to augment the educational opportunities of low-income children who do not have a reliable and affordable internet connection at home. This Cox internet package is offered to students and families receiving government assistance such as reduced or free school lunch, SNAP benefits, or public housing.

“During the current COVID-19 spike, many students and teachers are returning to distance learning, once again needing to rely on their at-home internet service provider,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “I am thankful that Cox Communications promptly responded to my request to provide low-income students and families with higher internet speeds.”

At the onset of COVID-19, Cox moved quickly to enhance their offer of Connect2Compete internet service to eliminate restrictions on enrollment and to provide two months of free service for all new families who have enrolled in the service. Currently, thousands of Arizona students are receiving Connet2Compete internet service in communities which Cox serves in the metro Phoenix area, Pinal County and Southern Arizona.

“Cox remains committed to ensuring that all kids in our service areas have access to broadband connectivity so that they can do homework, communicate with their teachers and have the same opportunities to access information as their classmates,” said John Wolfe, Southwest Regional General Manager, Cox Communications. “We thank Superintendent Hoffman for her leadership and partnership in working with the Cox team to advocate for the unique needs of our students during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Superintendent Hoffman and Cox Communications look forward to continuing to find innovative solutions to support students throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and beyond. Families can qualify for Connect2Compete easily from anywhere whether on their mobile device or desktop by visiting Eligible participants signing up before December 31, 2020 will receive two months of free service and pay $9.95 monthly going forward.

In addition to the increased broadband speeds for students and families learning and working from home, Cox announced last week the launch of the Digital Equity Project, in partnership with Raytheon.

Collectively, the Cox-Raytheon partnership will contribute $60,000 to launch a Digital Equity Project. Raytheon and Cox are committed to addressing digital equity in the community and connecting low-income families to the internet to help close the digital divide while leveraging existing technology and leading-edge infrastructure. In addition to internet bill support for students, the Digital Equity Project will assist 100 teachers with free internet through the rest of the school year. An additional 200 teachers will have the opportunity to be awarded a “Teacher Tech Grant” to purchase critical technology devices such as EarPods, lighting, web cameras, and other necessary remote technology. The Cox Digital Equity Project recognized that teachers now have unique technology needs and the pilot will help upgrade teacher technology as they teach from home.

Sunnyside School District will be the first recipient of the Digital Equity Project investments. The Sunnyside Foundation anticipates the partnership will be able to assist at least 500 students and 300 teachers in SUSD. This is in addition the thousands of families and students already participating in Cox’s Connect2Compete program today.

“This is part of our ongoing Emergency Relief efforts but with specific focus on a major need, internet.” said Kerri Lopez-Howell, Executive Director of the Sunnyside Foundation. “Not all connectivity issues can be solved the same way and these funds allow us (Sunnyside Foundation) to meet the needs of the remote learner in the way that makes sense for that family.”

About the Arizona Department of Education
Equity for all students to achieve their full potential. This is the guiding vision of the Arizona Department of Education — the state agency tasked with overseeing Arizona’s K-12 public education system. Our department, led by a publicly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, is comprised of more than 600 staff across four state offices working to serve Arizona’s students, families, educators, and school communities.

About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states. In metro Phoenix, we serve approximately 2.5 million product subscribers, and in Southern Arizona, approximately 400,000 product subscribers, with residential and business digital television, 1G high speed Internet, security systems and digital telephone service over its own nationwide IP network. We’re dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that makes each one unique. The 3,100 Arizona employees of Cox are proud to have topped numerous J.D. Power and Associates’ studies of customer satisfaction and for many years top “Ranking Arizona-Best of Arizona Business” list. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox.