Compudopt and Santander Consumer Foundation Provide Free Internet Connectivity to 5,000 Dallas Residents 

The milestone is part of a $7 million investment targeting student households below 200% of the federal poverty level in Dallas' southern sector.

Compudopt—a national nonprofit providing technology access and education to under-resourced youth and their communities—has partnered with the Dallas-based Santander Consumer USA Foundation to help bridge the digital divide in Dallas.

Part of a national, $35 million initiative by the two organizations—and a $7 million commitment investment in Dallas alone—the local effort recently marked a milestone by connecting 5,000 Dallas community members to free internet.

Compudopt marked the achievement by hosting a community event where local leaders, elected officials, and families gathered and where community members were connected to additional resources. As part of the event, Compudopt distributed 66 free computers equipped with educational programming and digital training resources.

Program launched in Dallas in January 2022

One of the 66 happy recipients at the Compudopt-Santander Foundation event. [Photo: Compudopt]

The program was launched in Dallas in January 2022 with the multi-year, $7 million investment targeting student households below 200% of the federal poverty level in the city’s southern sector.

Locally, the program has a goal of delivering:

  • Free high-speed internet for up to 10,000 student households
  • Free warrantied computers for 7,500 student households, including multi-lingual help desk support
  • Free education and training to boost student and caregiver digital skills offered to 24,300 residents
  • Free after school workforce-aligned technology enrichment education for 300 youth

“Compudopt sees a future where every family is equipped with the infrastructure, resources, and development to thrive in today’s digital age,” Megan Steckly, CEO of Compudopt, said in a statement. “We’re grateful to have a partner like Santander Consumer that is equally invested in solving today’s challenges for a more connected tomorrow, and we’re so proud to celebrate this milestone moment together in the city of Dallas.”

The issue reaches far beyond Dallas and crosses the entire country, the organizations said.

“More than 14 million U.S. households lack access to reliable technology and internet at home, which adds an unnecessary burden to daily responsibilities like schoolwork, paying bills, scheduling medical appointments and more to millions of families,” said Christopher Pfirrman, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Santander Consumer and Santander Consumer Foundation board chair.

“This is the reality for a significant portion of our Dallas community, but that’s quickly changing,” Pfirrman added in a statement. “The connection of 5,000 Dallas residents is a reminder that we are moving forward and changing lives. We’re thrilled to be part of that movement.”

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