Cox Communications announced today that the increased internet download speed introduced at the onset of COVID-19 for its low-cost internet package Connect2Compete is now permanent. The increase of speeds from 25 to 50 Mbps was introduced in March 2020 to support families in greatest need.
“We initially provided an internet speed boost to our Connect2Compete customers to ensure families could continue learning and working from home without interruption,” said John Wolfe, Southwest Region Manager and Senior Vice President of Cox Communications. “Although many restrictions are being lifted and people are heading back to schools and workplaces, we want to make sure regardless of circumstance, our customers can have the internet bandwidth they need to be successful.”
Connect2Compete is Cox’s low-cost internet solution for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in government financial assistance programs. Connect2Compete is designed to create digital equity for students and families that may have previously lacked internet access in their homes. In Arizona Cox saw an overall increase of 161% in families receiving C2C internet service in the past year.
“We know that reliable access to technology and broadband internet has always been an issue of educational equity. These challenges existed prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic exposed the critical need to connect hundreds of thousands of students and their families to technology, “said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “I am thankful for the continued partnership of Cox Communications to provide low-income students and families with higher internet speeds and I look forward to working with their leadership as we find ways to bridge the digital divide in Arizona.”
Discounts available through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
In addition to permanently increasing internet speed for its Connect2Compete customers, Cox is working to ensure eligible households can receive discounted service through the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. Emergency Broadband Benefit | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)
As part of the pandemic stimulus bill passed in December, the US Government, under the FCC, is providing $3.2 billion through the EBB program to help Americans stay connected to the internet. This FCC program, which is open to eligible Americans for only a limited time, is available to provide temporary financial assistance for internet service. Eligible families may qualify to receive up to $50 off their monthly bill based on their current internet service and equipment rental, or up to $75 if they live in a tribal area for as long as government funds remain available.
“We didn’t hesitate to raise our hand and participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “In fact, we have already reached out to thousands of Arizona customers that we believe qualify for this program to bring awareness of the program so as many customers as possible can take advantage of the subsidy.”
A household may qualify for the EBB program/subsidy if they’ve had a loss of income due to furlough or unemployment or are enrolled in other eligible government assistance programs, including*:
• Free or Reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
• Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
• Pell Grant recipient for current academic year
• Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
* Any of the programs listed above
* Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
* Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
– Any of the programs listed above
– Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
– Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
– Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
– Head Start
• Unemployment filing during COVID pandemic
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
• Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
• Proof income is 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines (three consecutive paystubs or a tax return)
* Application and eligibility decisions are made by the FCC
Through the EBB program and Cox’s partnership with PCs for People, households are also eligible to receive a one-time discount of $100 towards a laptop or desktop computer.
Cox has a long-standing commitment to narrowing the digital divide. Last year, Cox announced a $60 million commitment to closing the digital learning gap and has continued to implement solutions to connect more families during the pandemic including suspending late fees and extending payment relief offerings for Connect2Compete customers who express an inability to pay due to pandemic hardships. Cox has also offered immediate access to 3M+ Cox Hotspots nationwide through June 30, 2021.
Families can qualify for Connect2Compete by visiting cox.com/c2c.
For more information on the EBB program, visit cox.com/ebb.
About Receiving the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Discount through Cox FCC EBB offers discounts to eligible households for a limited time from any participating provider; Non-transferrable; one per household.
Customers remain responsible for monthly payment to Cox and may transfer the benefit to another provider at any time. The discount ends when the fund is expended or six months after the Emergency Period as defined in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, whichever is sooner. After EBB, Cox’s regular rates apply, which are subject to change (see cox.com for current regular rates). Cox Internet service is subject to the Cox Residential Customer Service Agreement (or Straight Up Internet Customer Agreement for SUI service), Acceptable Use Policy, and other policies. Application and eligibility decisions are made by the FCC. For more details and eligibility requirements, visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states.
In metro Phoenix, we serve approximately 2.5 million product subscribers, and in Southern Arizona, approximately 400,000 product subscribers, with residential and business digital television, 1G high speed Internet, security systems and digital telephone service over its own nationwide IP network.
We’re dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that make each one unique.
The 3,100 Arizona employees of Cox are proud to have topped numerous J.D. Power and Associates’ studies of customer satisfaction and for many years top “Ranking Arizona-Best of Arizona Business” list. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox.