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Big Tech puts 'down payment' on connecting schools

February 4, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Maggie Severns / Politico

Private companies are getting behind President Barack Obama's new push for increased access to high-speed Internet access and technology -- to the tune of what they say is more than $750 million in services, training and hardware.

Obama will say Tuesday that Apple, AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, the Verizon Foundation and others will contribute the products and free high-speed Internet services, much of it targeting low-income schools, over the course of the next few years.

The announcement at a Maryland middle school is part of a one-two punch on school Internet initiatives from the Obama administration this week: On Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will spell out changes to the multibillion-dollar E-Rate program, the federal program for technology subsidies.

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