By Justin Sink - 02/04/14 10:41 AM EST
President Obama is set Tuesday to announce more than $750 million in charitable commitments from technology and telecom companies for a new effort to bring high-speed Internet to the classroom.
Some 70 percent of American schools do not have the capacity for every student to work from a high-speed Internet connection.
The private commitments include $100 million in laptops and iPads from Apple, 12 million free copies of Microsoft Windows, and $350 million in educational and design software from companies like O'Reilly Media and Autodesk.
“Education is the most important investment we can make for our collective future,” said Judson Althoff, president of Microsoft North America. “With this new Microsoft education offer, we are heeding the president’s challenge to ensure all students have access to the technology devices and services they need to succeed.”
Three telecom companies — AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint — have also pledged up to $100 million each in Internet connectivity services.
"That so many of our countries top telecom and tech companies have come through and made commitments for this is very encouraging," White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said.