ADELPHI, Md., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama announced plans to bring improved Internet services to public schools while visiting a Maryland middle school Tuesday.
Obama spoke about the ConnectED program, which brings high-speed Internet and other forms of educational technology to schools as he met with students at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md.
The program, through the Federal Communications Commission, combines $2 billion in government investment from a fund already in place for building high-speed Internet, and more than $750 million in private sector investments from companies including Apple, Verizon, Microsoft and Sprint, a White House statement said.
After an introduction by eighth-grader Nelson Romero, Obama addressed the project of American schools connected by broadband and wireless technology, saying: "Only around 30 percent of our students have high-speed Internet in the classroom. In countries like South Korea, that's 100 percent. We want to make sure our young people have the same advantages that some child in South Korea has right now."
"In a country where we expect free WiFi with our coffee, we should definitely demand it in our schools," Obama said.
The program bypasses Congress and "won't add a single dime to the deficit," Obama added.
The statement from the White House noted the program will provide broadband services to 99 percent of U.S. schools by 2017.