AT&T and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced a collaboration to expand AT&T’s Access program — which provides discounted internet access for qualified and low-income customers — to veterans, military caregivers and their families.
Access will be available to those veteran families living six major metros across the company’s 21-state wireline service area. To ensure these families are aware of this new program, part of this agreement includes educating veteran families on the opportunity for low-cost internet service.
AT&T and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation will reach out to veterans through their community of caregivers and civic leaders, and will host events, meetings and support groups.
More than 30 percent of low-income veterans don’t have internet access, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Plus, the high cost of internet and the knowledge gap associated with understanding digital services creates barriers between veterans and internet connectivity, leading to a digital divide.
But internet is crucial for veterans, caregivers and their families as they rely on connectivity to apply for and receive benefits, find employment and connect with other peers, veterans and caregivers, according to Steve Schwab, Elizabeth Dole Foundation CEO.
“Affordable access to the internet helps individuals and communities stay connected, do business and grow,” said Erin Scarborough, vice president of wired voice and broadband products at AT&T. “We are proud to help promote digital inclusion for low-income, veteran households, and glad to see organizations like The Dole Foundation support this program.”
At least one household resident must benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to qualify for the Access program.