Sprint officially launched its 1Million Project donations website on Wednesday. The Sprint Foundation's 1Million Project is a donations-based program that promises to help "bridge the gap" for a million high-school students who do not have Internet access at home. The program is set to span five years in order to reach that goal, according to Sprint's announcement made on January 18.
It is estimated that around 5 million families in the US have no Internet access at all. According to statistics available at the 1Million Project application site, nearly 70% of high-school teachers assign online homework. These two statistics show a fairly obvious problem. Teenagers living in families without Internet access can be at a serious disadvantage compared to others. That disadvantage often translates into problems and struggles later in life. Sprint thinks it has at least a partial solution to resolving the situation. Through its decades-old philanthropic branch called the Sprint Foundation, the company is set to offer several key things to students whose schools have applied and been accepted to participate in the 1Million Project. First, the company is giving eligible students a free tablet, laptop, smartphone, or a hotspot to use on Sprint's Network. Sprint is also providing its beneficiaries with 3GB of LTE data per month and unlimited 2G data beyond that. Each device they give away will also function as a hotspot and will have a software suite at its core to prevent students from downloading malicious applications or view age-inappropriate content. Finally, the devices will support unlimited calling and texting. The service provided will last for up to four years while the student using it is still in school.
The 1Million Project is already set in motion as the company has recently launched a pilot program. The fourth largest carrier in the US said that it started the distribution and activation process for 500 students in Dallas and Park Forest. Applications for the program started being taken last November and are still accepted until March 31. The pilot announcement suggests that Sprint is taking this program seriously and wants to make sure it ends up being a good deed done properly.