Dallas-based AT&T is setting up a $10 million fund to help Americans weather the coronavirus pandemic by providing resources to educators, parents and students continuing their schooling online.
The AT&T Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund’s first contribution is a $1 million donation to online tutoring service Khan Academy, according to the company. Khan Academy is a nonprofit that provides free education resources and courses to students ages four to 18.
“Our country is grappling with an unprecedented challenge,” AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. “Now more than ever before, connecting people with the resources they need to maintain a sense of normalcy is paramount. For students and teachers, that means creating the best digital learning environment. For families, that means simply staying connected to loved ones.”
AT&T estimates 47 million U.S. students are now learning from home.
The company did not specify how it was choosing partners for its Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund. The Dallas Morning News has reached out to AT&T for comment.
AT&T also announced recently that it’s waiving data, text and calling overage charges for residential and small business wireless customers if the overage is related to the coronavirus pandemic. It also won’t throttle service to first responders. These measures comes as an addition to the pledge the company made when it joined the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
The telecom giant last week scrapped its plans for $4 billion in stock buybacks as the pandemic’s economic strain reignites public criticism of the practice.
The company, which employs more than 250,000 globally, has announced new measures almost daily in response to federal and local guidance from officials since COVID-19 was deemed a global pandemic.
This weekend, the company said it’s closing an unspecified number of retail locations in addition to the 40% of company-owned locations it temporarily shut down last week. AT&T will still keep one retail location open within a 20-mile radius in urban and suburban areas and one location in roughly each 30-mile radius in rural areas, the company said.