Chicago Connected is a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts by any city to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of four years to increase internet access for students.
According to Census data, an estimated 100,000 students lack access to high-speed internet in Chicago. In order to narrow the digital divide for CPS families, Chicago Connected will provide up to four years of high-speed internet for CPS families who are most in need. Students who are eligible for the program and are planning to enroll in summer school in 2020 will be prioritized as the program rolls out in the coming weeks.
‘Chicago Connected’ will begin notifying eligible families beginning Monday, June 29, 2020 with the goal of connecting
as many of the 100,000 students as possible prior to the 2020-21 school year.
While Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools remain committed to making every possible effort to get students back in the classroom this fall, what next school year looks like and how many students will be able to return is dependent on the trajectory of the virus and the guidance from state and local health officials.
While the initial phase of ‘Chicago Connected’ will provide wired internet access, Chicago Connected will also extend existing hotspot service for students in temporary living situations for up to four years.