At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Microsoft launched a three-year program to ensure that “1 million students from low-income families in the United States receive the benefits of software, hardware and discounted broadband Internet service.”
“Today’s announcement extends Microsoft’s global Shape the Future program, which has provided technology and access to over 10 million students around the world over the past five years,” Microsoft stated.
Through this new commitment, Microsoft will work with state, city, nonprofit and private organizations — including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and One Economy — to develop and accelerate reduced-cost programs and policies that will include the following:
- Windows-based PCs optimized for students
- Broadband Internet access
- Microsoft education software
- Job skills training
Microsoft said “Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle are among the first cities actively supporting Shape the Future by launching digital inclusion initiatives for students in their cities. Project L.I.F.T in Charlotte and the Great Student Initiative in Seattle will enable public and private partnerships that bring technology access to needy youth in their regions. Over a three-year period, all 50 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico will have the opportunity to participate.”
This commitment extends Microsoft’s original vision of a PC on every desktop and in every home and is part of Microsoft’s corporate citizenship efforts, which are increasingly focused on creating opportunities for youth around the world.
“Roughly 100 million Americans remain unconnected to high-speed Internet, and the economic cost of digital exclusion is rising every day,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “This isn’t a problem for government alone. The private sector, nonprofit groups and government actors must work collaboratively to close this gap, create jobs and ensure America’s global competitiveness. Substantial commitments to bring digital access to millions more Americans are a significant step in the right direction.”