Dallas, TX
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
English Español

Fine Print

English Español

AT&T Donates $1 Million for Internet Access


The $1 million would pay for digital ambassadors to help communities learn how to connect to the internet and use it more effectively.| Image by AT&T

Donate to Dallas Express to Keep it Free

AT&T announced they will give at least $1 million to assist 10,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in connecting to the internet over the next several years.

The Dallas-based telecommunication company, with consolidated revenues of $168.9 billion in 2021, hoped the donation would help reduce the digital divide between those with access to the internet technology and those without it.

Research done in 2020 by the Internet for All Coalition suggested that as many as 75,000 families across Dallas County did not have reliable internet access. Dottie Smith, the coalition’s co-chair, explained that with the rise in online education during the COVID pandemic the lack of access “makes virtual learning difficult, if not impossible.”

“Our hope,” she continued, “is to reach every single one of those households and provide a reliable internet solution as quickly as possible.”

AT&T’s new initiative proposes to help alleviate this issue.

Among other things, the $1 million would pay for digital ambassadors to help communities learn how to connect to the internet and use it more effectively. These ambassadors would teach residents how to use the internet to apply for jobs, pay bills, and access online education programs.

The assistant vice president of corporate social responsibility at AT&T, Mylayna Albright, explained, “The pandemic has heightened the challenges faced by students, workers and families nationwide who currently lack the connectivity and digital education needed to harness the power of technology in their daily lives.”

Assisting in the project is the Dallas Innovation Alliance. Formed in 2015, the organization is “dedicated to supporting the design and execution of the City of Dallas’ smart cities strategy,” which seeks to “improve quality of life, economic development, and resource efficiencies.”

Executive Director and co-founder of the Dallas Innovation Alliance Jennifer Sanders highlighted the ambassador program, claiming, “Through this program, we can help support our city’s families by giving them access to the educational opportunities, training, and other support they need to succeed in the 21st century economy.”

In addition to digital ambassadors, the donation will establish a call center, self-service website, technical support centers, and community anchor sites for residents to access easily.

This announcement comes after AT&T has been accused of severely limiting lower-income neighborhoods’ access to the internet. According to a 2019 report, the company heavily invested in newer communities with high property values over older neighborhoods.

AT&T responded by explaining that it is far easier and cheaper to make technology and infrastructure updates as the neighborhoods are being built than attempting to do so retroactively. However, the company also pointed out that such investment patterns fail to take into account the philanthropic initiatives which work to make improvements and close the digital divide.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments