Compared to last year, there are triple the number of families in Central Oregon with access to essential internet services thanks to BendBroadband’s Connect2Compete program.
The program provides eligible low-income families in existing community assistance programs with high-speed Internet for $9.95 per month. Through Connect2Compete, BendBroadband requires no deposit, no installation or modem rental fees, and guarantees the price for two years. New this year, the available speed of service for program participants has been increased to 15Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.
In 2015, there were about 20 participating families. So far in 2016 there are 59. BendBroadband attributes the increased enrollment to greater awareness of the program thanks to its partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club of Bend, the Family Access Network, and Bend Area Habitat for Humanity.
“BendBroadband is proud to support the Connect2Compete program here in Central Oregon,” said Molly Black-Hissong, associate manager of Field Marketing for BendBroadband. “With students now being required to use iPads from 3rd grade on up, not having internet access at home due to financial constraints means these kids have the potential to fall behind even faster than their socio-economic challenges might suggest.”
With another school year underway, BendBroadband wants to remind area residents about the program.
BendBroadband partners with three area organizations to provide the Connect2Compete offering.
Eligible participants must:
- Have at least one child enrolled in K-12th grade
- Have not subscribed to BendBroadband Internet service within the last 90 days
- Have no outstanding bill or unreturned equipment with BendBroadband
- Apply through one of three eligible community assistance organizations: Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, and the Family Access Network (FAN).
“Providing a low-cost internet product in Bend for low-income families is a way for us to assist in bridging the gap,” Molly says. “We find that this service impacts the entire family, not just the student – bringing internet to a family means that perhaps the parents can get a job working from home or even go back to school themselves. This is an important endeavor for us as the community continues to grow.”