Obama Secures $750M in Pledges to Get Kids Online

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(Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — At a high-tech Maryland middle school where students are assigned iPads to use in class and at home, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday $750 million in commitments from U.S. companies to begin wiring more classrooms with high-speed Internet.

Obama said this is a step toward his goal of putting the world at the fingertips of every American student.

Apple is pledging $100 million in iPads, computers and other tools. AT&T and Sprint are contributing free Internet service through their wireless networks. Verizon is pitching in up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions. And Microsoft is making its Windows software available at discounted prices and offering 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office software.

“In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, we should definitely demand it in our schools,” the President said.

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