T-Mobile Launches Project 10Million

Historic $10.7B Initiative is Aimed at Closing the Homework Gap and Connecting Students to Opportunity – for Free

BELLEVUE, WA—With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a recent video posted last month, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.

But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.

T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.

Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.

To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students. Interested school districts may sign anytime with T-Mobile at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.

“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”

As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.

The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.

Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts. Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.

“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”

Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.

Source: T-Mobile U.S. Inc.

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Charter to Expand Distribution of Black News Channel and Offer Network to Video Subscribers Across All Markets

Charter Will Make the Network Available by early September to Subscribers of Spectrum TV Silver and Higher Video Tiers

STAMFORD, Conn. – Charter Communications, Inc. today announced it plans to significantly expand distribution of Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only 24/7 African American-focused news network, by making the channel available to Spectrum TV subscribers throughout the company’s 41-state footprint by early September 2020.

Charter was one of the first pay TV providers to offer BNC in some of its biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, upon the network’s launch in early 2020. Today’s announcement expands that access to Spectrum TV customers located in all Charter markets, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Columbia, providing Black News Channel even broader reach for its programming.

“Expanding distribution of Black News Channel will give even more Spectrum customers access to the network’s topical news,” said Tom Montemagno, Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition for Charter. “It’s critical that we provide diverse perspectives on our lineups, and that we have programming that truly reflects the issues facing our customers and the communities we serve.”

BNC launched February 10 as the nation’s only provider of 24-hour cable news programming dedicated to covering the diverse perspective of African American communities. As an innovative and life-changing network, BNC’s mission is to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African American audience.

“Charter Communications has been a great partner for our Network and has been committed to our success and the information needs of our audience from the start,” said BNC Chairman and co-founder J.C. Watts, Jr. “Expanding BNC‘s reach to subscribers throughout the Spectrum TV universe further demonstrates that commitment.”

The channel features coverage of national political, health, business and sports news; stories about Black history and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and original programming, including the “Kelly Wright Show,” “Being a Woman” with hosts Lauren McCoy and Rarione Maniece, and “Doctor for the People” hosted by Dr. Corey Hebert. More information about Black News Channel and its programs is available at www.BlackNewsChannel.com.

BNC will be available upon launch at no additional charge to Spectrum TV customers who have Spectrum TV Silver, Digital Tier Package 1, or Spectrum Lifestyle TV. More information about how to subscribe and local channel locations is available at www.spectrum.com.

– Source and photo: Charter Communications and Devlin Design Group

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Black News Channel launches in America

BNC | Black News Channel

National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (right) says NNPA’s partnership with BNC is a profound win-win for Black America. Dr. Chavis is joined (L-R) by former Congressman J.C. Watts, BNC Chairman and Jacksonville Jaguars Owner, Shad Khan, BNC majority stakeholder.  — NNPA photo.

NEW YORK—In a joint teleconference broadcast live from the Four Season’s Hotel in New York’s Financial District, the Black News Channel (BNC) and the National Newspaper Publishers Association announced the official launch date and time for the nation’s first 24-hour, 7-days a week all-news TV channel that will focus on African American news.

The new channel promises to inform, educate, and empower nearly 50 million African Americans now living in the United States.

The potential for the network appears almost limitless.

BNC will immediately have the potential to reach 33 million households daily in all the major media markets across the nation.

Combined with the millions of readers who consume information from NNPA’s Black-owned newspapers and media companies each week, the BNC could quickly become the top destination for all who want to consume African American news on TV and on mobile devices.

BNC, which officially launches at 6 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019, has agreements with Charter Communications, Comcast and DISH TV. The network already has commitments for carriage in major African American hubs like Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Tallahassee, Florida, houses BNC’s headquarters, and the network will have news bureaus around the country, including Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Former Republican U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts is chairman of BNC, which is backed financially by business mogul and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

“This platform will create a venue for the African American community to have a dialogue to talk about news, education and cultural things,” stated Watts, who added that the network has been in the planning stage for many years.

“I had an afro when I started this,” Watts referenced.

“It’s especially important to have the Black Press of America join us in this venture. I bet most people don’t realize that there are 223 African American-owned newspapers in the NNPA, and that’s content for us,” Watts stated.

“We suffered a big blow with the loss of Ebony and Jet, publications I grew up reading. But I still read the Black Press in Oklahoma City, growing up.”

NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who participated in the teleconference, said the NNPA’s partnership with the BNC is a profound win-win for Black America.

“This year marks the 192nd year of the Black Press of America. Black Americans striving for excellence in all fields of endeavor give life to our culture that attracts and impacts all people. We set trends for ourselves and others,” Chavis stated.

“We’re not a cursed people, and we are a blessed people. We continue to strive for excellence, and to have Shad Khan announced as a primary investor for the launch and sustainable development of the BNC is of major significance,” Chavis noted.

Kahn told NNPA Newswire that the decision to back BNC was easy once he looked at the mission and the business model.

“I am a big believer in the fact that we have a number of communities, obviously especially the African American community, who are underserved,” stated Kahn, a magnate in the auto equipment industry.

In addition to the Jaguars, he owns the Fulham Football Club of the English Football League, All Elite Wrestling, and the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

“I hope that as time goes on, this becomes a bridge to connect all the cultures, including obviously south Asian. But I do believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African American television audiences, who have historically been underserved in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests. My decision to invest is an easy one because we get to answer that calling,” Kahn explained.

Both Watts and Kahn promised that BNC will give a voice to the varied experiences of African Americans and will not just tell a segment of the story but will tell the entire story.

“We will inform, educate, inspire, and empower the African American community,” Watts added.

BNC will have three primary anchor teams who will host the network’s evening newscast, morning newscast, and mid-day D.C. Today Live broadcast. In addition to primary anchor teams, BNC also will have high-profile expert contributors who will add commentary and information to each newscast.

The network will work with historically black colleges and universities to ensure that all African Americans have a voice.

A BNC correspondent will examine life on the HBCU campuses and explain why the experiences students have at these institutions of learning are so meaningful in the cultural development of many students’ lives. The weekly one-hour program will focus on what is happening at HBCUs that is good, positive, and uplifting.

Additionally, one of the many topics will include Sickle Cell Diseases, the blood disorder that disproportionately affects African Americans.

Veteran TV anchor Kelly Wright, who will host a 6 p.m. show on BNC, said his inaugural program would include a segment on the NNPA’s missing black girls national series.

That series spotlights the more than 424,000 African American women and girls who have gone missing in the United States over the past half-decade.

“We’re not looking to be Republican or Democrat. There will be current affairs, but we are culturally specific to the African American community. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN may have African American faces on their news shows, but they are not necessarily covering the community from a cultural perspective,” Watts stated. “We’re not looking to be left or right. We will be authentic and true to enriched and diverse African American experience.”

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Comcast Buys AI-Based Cyber Tech Developer BluVector

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Comcast has purchased Arlington, Va.-based cybersecurity firm BluVector for an undisclosed sum.

BlueVector_logo_20190305BluVector develops and provides platforms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning designed to help government agencies and companies detect and address zero-day malware, ransomware and other cyber threats, Comcast said Friday.

Eric Malawer, a more than 20-year technology industry veteran, will serve as CEO of BluVector and lead the company’s growth efforts as part of Comcast.

“We’re thrilled that BluVector is part of Comcast and are excited to support its continued growth, even as we explore new opportunities to leverage BluVector technology and expertise,” said Don Mathis, general manager of growth at Comcast.

Kris Lovejoy, founding CEO of BluVector, will continue to serve as consultant and adviser to Comcast and BluVector.

Noopur Davis, chief information security officer at Comcast, will oversee efforts to identify opportunities to support new offerings and programs through the combined expertise and technologies of both firms.

Source and photos: Comcast

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#GLF2019

AT&T To Acquire Time Warner for $85 Billion

DALLAS and NEW YORK CITY—AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. announced October 22, 2016, they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire Time Warner in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies.

The deal combines Time Warner’s vast library of content and ability to create new premium content that connects with audiences around the world, with AT&T’s extensive customer relationships, world’s largest pay TV subscriber base and leading scale in TV, mobile and broadband distribution.

att-mobiTime Warner, Inc. is a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks and film and TV entertainment, uses its industry-leading operating scale and brands to create, package and deliver high-quality content worldwide on a multi-platform basis.

AT&T Inc. connects millions of customers around the globe with leading entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet and voice services. With TV customers in the United States and 11 Latin American countries, AT&T is one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. They help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

The U.S. Government continues its studies and research at the intersection of telecommunications and the rapidly evolving market for video content. Regulatory analysts say this mega-merger would need to win approval from the Justice Department and may require lengthy reviews by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . AT&T is expected to offer upfront concessions, such as assuring other pay-TV distributors and wireless operators would still have access to Time Warner programming.

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Sources: AT&T, Inc. , Time Warner, Inc., and The Wall Street Journal

Is the Future of (Cable) TV Still in a Box?

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s hard to get excited about a cable box. It’s basically a boring oblong you put on a shelf near your TV and never think of again unless your cable service goes out.

bdpatodayBut it’s at the center of a battle pitting technology companies and the government against the TV industry. The Federal Communications Commission wants to let you buy your own cable box in hopes of saving you money and getting you new features. The cable industry worries about losing the power to frame how you get your video — and with it, billions of dollars in revenue. Some in Hollywood also worry about losing advertising dollars.

Here is what your community and local BDPA Chapters need to know about this dispute — select here to read more

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