Cox permanently increases speed to 50 Mbps for its Connect2Compete low-cost internet program
Company also offers Federal subsidy for internet service through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Cox Communications has announced that the increased internet download speed introduced at the onset of COVID-19 for its low-cost internet package Connect2Compete is now permanent. The increase of speeds from 25 to 50 Mbps was introduced in March 2020 to support families in greatest need.
“We initially provided an internet speed boost to our Connect2Compete customers to ensure families could continue learning and working from home without interruption,” said Michael Bolognini, vice president and market leader, Cox Las Vegas. “Although many restrictions are being lifted and people are heading back to schools and workplaces, we want to make sure regardless of circumstance, our customers can have the internet bandwidth they need to be successful.”
Connect2Compete is Cox’s low-cost internet solution for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in government financial assistance programs. The program is designed to create digital equity for students and families that may have previously lacked internet access in their homes.
“The Connecting Kids coalition formed under the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force ensured that all of Nevada’s students participating in digital learning during the current school year had access to a computer and the internet at home,” said Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara. “Cox’s low-cost Connect2Compete internet has been a critical part of this success. I’m encouraged that the speed will remain at 50 Mbps, especially as remote learning remains a component to support students and families in the upcoming 2021-22 school year.”
Through the Connecting Kids coalition, Cox partnered with the Clark County School District to connect approximately 15,000 students to Connect2Compete internet service during the first six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year.
Discounts available through the Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
In addition to permanently increasing internet speed for its Connect2Compete customers, Cox is working to ensure eligible households can receive discounted service through the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. Emergency Broadband Benefit | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)
As part of the pandemic stimulus bill passed in December, the US Government, under the FCC, is providing $3.2 billion through the EBB program to help Americans stay connected to the internet. This FCC program, which is open to eligible Americans for only a limited time is available to provide temporary financial assistance for internet service. Eligible families may qualify to receive up to $50 off their monthly bill based on their current internet service and equipment rental, or up to $75 if they live in a tribal area for as long as government funds remain available.
“We didn’t hesitate to raise our hand and participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program,” said Pat Esser, president and CEO of Cox Communications. “In fact, we have already reached out to thousands of customers that we believe qualify for this discount to bring awareness of the program so as many customers as possible can take advantage of the subsidy.”
A household may qualify for this Federal subsidy if they’ve had a loss of income due to furlough or unemployment or are enrolled in other eligible government assistance programs, including*:
· Free or Reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
· Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
· Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
· Pell Grant recipient for current academic year
· Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
o Any of the programs listed above
o Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
o Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
o Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
o Head Start
· Unemployment filing during COVID pandemic
· Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
· Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
· Proof that income is 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines (three consecutive pay stubs or a tax return)
* Application and eligibility decisions are made by the FCC
Cox has a long-standing commitment to narrowing the digital divide. Last year, Cox announced at $60 million commitment to closing the digital learning gap and has continued to implement solutions to connect more families during the pandemic including suspending late fees and extending payment relief offerings for Connect2Compete customers who express an inability to pay due to pandemic hardships. Cox has also offered immediate access to 3M+ Cox Hotspots nationwide through June 30, 2021.
Families can apply for Connect2Compete by visiting cox.com/c2c.
For more information on the EBB program, visit cox.com/ebb.
About Receiving the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Discount through Cox
FCC EBB offers discounts to eligible households for a limited time from any participating provider; Non-transferrable; one per household. Customers remain responsible for monthly payment to Cox and may transfer the benefit to another provider at any time. The discount ends when fund is expended or six months after Emergency Period as defined in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, whichever is sooner. After EBB, Cox’s regular rates apply, which are subject to change (see cox.com for current regular rates). Cox Internet service is subject to the Cox Residential Customer Service Agreement (or Straight Up Internet Customer Agreement for SUI service), Acceptable Use Policy, and other policies. Application and eligibility decisions are made by the FCC. For more details and eligibility requirements, visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through technology. The largest private broadband company in America, we proudly serve six and a half million homes and businesses across 18 states. We’re dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that make each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in1898 by Governor James M. Cox.