SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- This past March, as schools shut down and distance learning started, Richard Cowan and his family were one of hundreds who didn't have internet access.
"We were actually using mobile hot spots or venturing to the library," Cowan said. Then he learned about Connect2Compete, a program through Cox Communications that gave families free internet to start followed by a low cost plan.
"We've been able to enhance, and better be prepared for school and a different curriculum that they're requiring now."
Cox Communications Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Chanelle Hawken, said it's just one of the ways they continued to help students stay connected for the fall. "We've put a lot of resources time and energy to connect kids."
Cox also partnered with David Harp's Foundation, a music school for low income and at-risk kids. "For them, its even harder in this distance learning environment. They may not be getting the support of family members to help them stay online," Hawken said. They turned the East Village campus into a digital hub with free wifi for underprivilaged students.
"It's a new world I'll say and we're looking at ways to be creative. Just working one-on-one with school districts to see if they need devices because we have our grant with computers or to see if kids need a connection."
They also had Cox wifi hotspots scattered throughout the county for free, at the start of the school year.
"It's been a community effort where people are chipping in to make sure kids are ready for back to school, I know its so stressful for parents right now," Hawken concluded.