Connecting Waterloo Students for Distance Learning
Mediacom Partners with Waterloo Schools; Expands Home Internet Access for Students.
MAY 15, 2020 – WATERLOO, IA -- Five weeks ago, leaders for the Waterloo Schools put in motion a plan to ensure that its students would have the technology to access online learning when teachers shifted curriculum from classrooms to homes. This week a successful milestone occurred when broadband installations were completed for a final set of student families who now receive internet service through a partnership between the school district and Mediacom Communications.
In April, Superintendent Jane Lindaman reported that secondary students in Waterloo Schools had school-issued Chromebook computers through a previously-created technology initiative. To extend the initiative further, the district expanded its distribution of computers to students in second through fifth grades, and the school’s technology team developed a plan to work with local broadband providers to fill gaps for students without internet access at home.
Waterloo Schools asked Mediacom to adapt its Connect2Compete program, a low-cost internet service for students who are eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals. To meet online learning needs for those students, Mediacom installed internet service in the homes of more than 175 families as directed by the school.
In addition, the company activated internet service for another 172 families who chose individual subscriptions to Mediacom Connect2Compete. In total, more than 350 Waterloo and Evansdale families with K-12 children gained high-speed internet service, mostly since April 7.
“Education equity is a top priority for Waterloo Schools, and in 2020, an internet connection and computer are essential components in the equity equation,” said Matt O’Brien, Waterloo Schools Executive Director for Technology. “Our leadership team assessed various options to deliver quality education to all of our students. Mediacom’s broadband network is widely available throughout our community, and we were pleased with the company’s willingness to step forward to be part of the solution and investment we needed.”
The school district is responsible for monthly internet service offered at a discounted rate of $9.95 for each household within in a bulk service agreement. Mediacom donated 100-percent of the costs for installation labor and materials, including a no-cost-lease for the WiFi-equipped modems activated in each home. The discounted pricing mirrors a program Mediacom created to help low-income families support student learning with home internet access. Currently, nearly 2,000 Iowa families use Connect2Compete as individual subscribers, and they can retain the internet connection regardless of school breaks.
“We previously made a commitment to invest company resources in a meaningful way that helps low-income families gain the connectivity they need to support their children’s education,” said Mediacom Area Operations Director Corey Bowman. “Now, in a COVID-19 world, a connection to Mediacom’s fiber-based network is more essential than ever, and our broadband technicians take pride in every installation that brings Connect2Compete to more students.”
Individual subscribers using Mediacom Connect2Compete pay a flat-rate monthly fee of $9.95 and are not required to sign a contract or pay a deposit. In response to COVID-19, Mediacom offers 60 days of complimentary internet service to new families eligible for Connect2Compete.
Images by Brandon Pollock - Waterloo Courier. Mediacom, Waterloo Schools help more than 350 families gain internet access.
About Mediacom Communications
Mediacom Communications Corporation is the 5th largest cable operator in the United States and the leading gigabit broadband provider to smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Through its fiber-rich network, Mediacom provides high-speed data, video and phone services to nearly 1.4 million households and businesses across 22 states. The company delivers scalable broadband solutions to commercial and public-sector customers of all sizes through Mediacom Business, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcable.com.
Contact:Phyllis PetersCommunity Relations(o) 515-246-2295 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org