Sprint’s 1 Million Project brings connected devices to high school students

The internet is a necessity for many students, and Sprint has a plan to make it more accessible. The network, along with the Sprint Foundation, is launching the “1 Million Project,” which loans smartphones, tablets, and laptops to students in low-income families together with four years of connectivity to get them through high school.

Seven in 10 teachers assign homework that requires an internet connection, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. According to the Pew Research Center, 5 million families with school-age children in the U.S. don’t have access to high-speed internet.

To kick-start an initiative to fix this “Homework Gap,” Sprint is working with non-profits like EveryoneOn and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to  partner with local community organizations, such as schools, libraries, and other local non-profits. Phones, laptops, hot spot devices, and tablets will be distributed to a million high school students, and Sprint and the Sprint Foundation will work with partners to decide the “best device solution.”

sprint

The devices will come with 3GB of LTE data per month, and will revert to unlimited data on 2G network speeds if a student uses up all their data. Students with a smartphone will be able to use it as a hot spot, and will be able to make unlimited domestic calls and texts. These devices will stay connected for students throughout the four-year span of high school.

But 1 million students aren’t going to get devices right away, as the plan is slated to extend from 2017 through 2025. It will begin as a pilot program in January 2017 in seven to 10 cities, and will roll out nationally when the 2017 to 2018 school year begins. Sprint is hoping to connect up to 200,000 students per year for the next five years.

Sprint isn’t the only company looking to bring connectivity to low-income families. Facebook is reportedly in talks with the White House to bring its Free Basics program into the U.S. The program is controversial as it allows for certain websites to not count toward data usage — India banned it after its communications watchdog concluded it violated net neutrality principles.

The White House’s ConnectEd initiative is also looking to bring “next-generation broadband” to 99 percent of students by 2018.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Press Releases

NFL’s Marshawn Lynch joins Digital Trends Live to raise awareness for his nonprofit

PORTLAND, Oregon, December 10, 2018 -- NFL running back Marshawn Lynch is coming to Digital Trends Live for a special Thursday morning segment. Coming on the heels of Lynch’s 2018 Man of the Year Award nomination, the segment will center…
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.