October 13, 2020

ACA Connects and EducationSuperHighway Announce Partnership on ‘K-12 Bridge to Broadband’ Initiative to Meet Student Connectivity Needs 

Thirty-Nine ACA Connects Members Have Signed Up

PITTSBURGH, October 13, 2020 – ACA Connects and EducationSuperHighway today announced they are partnering in support of the “K-12 Bridge to Broadband” initiative to connect students with online learning. Under this program, broadband service providers help school districts and states identify students that lack broadband at home and then supply these connections.

“The K-12 Bridge to Broadband program is a great opportunity for ACA Connects members to support students, schools, and their communities. We are honored to join with EducationSuperHighway in this initiative,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka. “Broadband is essential for students, and never has this been truer than during the COVID-19 emergency. Without robust broadband connectivity for online learning, students who need to learn from home will be left behind, and that is simply unacceptable. The K-12 Bridge to Broadband program is targeted at addressing this problem, and our members are well-positioned to help. In communities across America, they have deployed high-performance networks that can deliver broadband service to students in need.”

Providers that participate in the program agree to follow a set of core principles, which include creating a “sponsored service” offering that schools can purchase on behalf of students; working with schools to identify unserved student homes; standardizing eligibility; facilitating enrollment; and abiding by privacy protections.

“EducationSuperHighway is excited to partner with ACA Connects on the K-12 Bridge to Broadband program,” said EducationSuperHighway CEO Evan Marwell. “Meeting the connectivity needs of students will take broadband providers of all sizes and in all areas, including the community-based providers that make up ACA Connects’ membership. We are thrilled to have them on board.”

ACA Connects is pleased to announce the following member companies are participating in the initiative following ACA Connects’ initial outreach to members:

·     Tennessee Broadband

·     ALLO Communcations

·     Armstrong

·     Atlantic Broadband

·     Blue Devil Cable TV

·     Comporium

·     Consolidated Communications

·     Ellijay Telephone Company

·     GCI

·     H&B Communications

·     Horizon Cable

·     Hotwire Communications

·     ImOn Communications

·     Jefferson County Cable

·     Madison Communications Company

·     Mediacom

·     MCTV

·     Murray Electric System

·     NITCO

·     Nortex Communications

·     Nuvera

·     Point Broadband

·     Premier Communications

·     QCOL

·     Rainier Connect

·     RCN, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband

·     Red River Communications

·     River Valley Telecommunications Co-op

·     S&T Communications

·     Shentel

·     Sparklight

·     Sjoberg’s

·     Vast Broadband

·     Vexus

·     Vyve Broadband

·     Wilkes Communications

·     Windstream

·     WOW!

·     X-Stream Services

These companies represent a cross section of ACA Connects’ membership. They include both medium-sized and smaller broadband providers that operate primarily in rural areas, as well as others that serve more urban markets. These operators serve many millions of customers and can reach millions more.

More information about the program is available on the ACA Connects website.

About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses. For more information, visit: https://www.acaconnects.org

About EducationSuperHighway – EducationSuperHighway was founded in 2012 with the mission of upgrading the Internet access in every public school classroom in America. The organization took on this mission because it believes that digital learning has the potential to provide all students with equal access to educational opportunity and that every school requires high-speed broadband to make that opportunity a reality. EducationSuperHighway is funded by national philanthropic organizations, and our mission is supported by governors in all 50 states. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, ESH started the Digital Bridge K-12 (digitalbridgek12.org) program to help school districts and states identify and connect students who lack home digital access.