Sunnyside Unified School District Superintendent Steve Holmes, joined by Consuelo Hernandez, a SUSD board member and Summit View Elementary Principal Maria Montano have unveiled an exciting public-private partnership with Cox Communications that expands high-speed internet services into the Summit View neighborhood.
Thanks to this collaboration, more than 1,000 Summit View households in Pima County will have access to Cox broadband services.
“This alliance between our district and Cox empowers our teachers and students and builds a strong foundation for an equitable, quality education,” said Holmes. “We know families need these services and find this a powerful way to support internet access.”
“We must address digital equity in our community,” said Hernandez. “Until quality internet services are available throughout Pima County, we will never be able to improve access for remote learning and working from home. Today, we start to remove these obstacles and realize this goal of high-speed internet access for all.”
Joining Holmes and Hernandez in the announcement were Lisa Lovallo, Cox Communications Southern Arizona market VP; Montano; Adelita Grijalva, Pima County District 5 supervisor and members of SUSD’s governing and foundation boards.
“Pima County wants to ensure that all of our residents have access to the best high-speed internet possible,” said Pima County District 2 Supervisor Dr. Matt Heinz, where Summit View Elementary School is located. “I could not be more pleased that this partnership between Cox, Sunnyside School District and Pima County will start to bridge that digital divide and is being launched in District 2. It is a perfect example of the public and private sectors rallying together to create a more equitable Pima County.”
“Cox has long believed that all children, regardless of their family’s income level, should have access to the internet to ensure they are not left behind in the digital world of learning,” said Lovallo. “We are excited to bring high-speed internet to the Summit View neighborhood as part of an important public/private partnership. It’s important to us to work together to look at ways to connect everyone in our community, including areas that have historically been harder to reach.”
Cox will also present the Summit View Elementary School with a $10,000 check to support digital equity efforts and programs to help students over the summer months and into the new school year.
Cox has a long-standing commitment to narrowing the digital divide. The company has also announced a permanent increase in speed (25 to 50 Mbps) for its low-cost Internet package Connect2Compete. In Arizona, Cox saw an overall increase of 161% in families receiving C2C internet service in the past year. Additionally, Cox is working to ensure eligible households can receive discounted service through the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
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.