Latest industry news in Texas and around the country.
Another Texas school year is about to start, but this one will look a little different with COVID-19 concerns spurring many school districts to begin the year virtually before transitioning to in-person classes. 

Across the state, parents, teachers and schools are concerned with how to provide remote instruction to students who may not have internet access at home. The abrupt shift schools made to online instruction in March underscored the challenges of the digital divide. At that time, cable companies immediately enhanced their existing programs designed to connect low-income families.

Since then, cable providers serving Texas have continued to work with schools, education officials and others to increase internet access so all students have the opportunity to learn.
Right now, there are young people in our communities dreaming of the future. At Altice USA, we provide support to this next generation of innovators, helping them acquire the skills to make their dreams of the future a reality.

From mentoring students and hosting innovation celebrations and hackathons to sponsoring STEM events and robotics competitions across the country, to giving hands-on demonstrations of Altice USA’s technology in action, we are dedicated to driving future innovation through STEM.
The Texas Cable Association welcomes Vyve Broadband back as its newest member. Vyve was previously a member of TCA.

Founded in 2012, Vyve serves largely non-urban communities in eight states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Wyoming. Vyve Broadband offers an extensive range of broadband, fiber connectivity, cable television and voice services for commercial and residential customers. The company is based in Shawnee, Okla.

In cities and towns across Texas, local cable operators and their employees make their communities a better place to live. Cable companies not only make financial and in-kind donations to numerous civic and charitable organizations, but employees volunteer thousands of hours of their time each year. Check out the latest cable industry community initiatives below.
Charter helping areas impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes
Charter is committed to supporting the communities where customers and employees live and work, especially in times of need. For states that often are in the pathways of hurricanes, this means keeping customers informed, safe, and connected during these dangerous storms. That’s why Charter undertakes extensive coordination and preparation efforts to ensure it is able to assist its customers before, during and after hurricanes. Read more.

Hogar De HGTV launches on Charter's Spectrum in Texas
Spectrum on Aug. 17 announced the launch of Hogar de HGTV to customers in Texas. The all-new network from Discovery U.S. Hispanic offers food and home content for Spanish-language audiences. Hogar de HGTV is now available at no additional cost to customers with Spectrum TV Mi Plan Latino and Latino View TV packages in Austin, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, San Antonio, Waco and more. Read more.

New Charter Spectrum store now open in Harker Heights
Charter Communications on Aug. 28 announced the opening of a new Spectrum Store in Harker Heights. The Spectrum store gives consumers in Harker Heights and Killeen a convenient option for adding or managing their Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile or Voice services. Spectrum is opening more than 15 new stores in Texas in 2020, on top of the 23 stores it opened in 2019. Read more.

Comcast Supports Memorial Hermann Health System to Optimize Patient Experience
When the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality, Memorial Hermann Health System, one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in Southeast Texas, relied on Comcast Business to increase its main circuit from one gigabit to three gigabits in order to ensure their 6,700 affiliated physicians and over 29,000 employees could stay connected.

A technological feat that should have taken 45 days was completed in just 72 hours so physicians could continue to focus on their patients across Memorial Hermann’s more than 300 care delivery sites, including 17 hospitals and numerous specialty programs and services throughout the Greater Houston area. Read more.

Comcast Houston and Lone Star College partner to connect students to digital learning
(Reprinted from NCTA – The Internet & Television Association)
Prior to COVID-19, many colleges and schools were already aware of the digital divide among their student populations. This is why Quentin Wright, President of Lone Star College-Houston North in Texas, always took measures to ensure that classes prioritized face-to-face learning. Not to mention, a technology survey had found that many students in his service area did not have a computer at home or access to a broadband connection. But then came the pandemic. "When March hit, it changed our world tremendously," said Wright. Wright and the college administration had to completely shift direction to find a way to get 20% of the student body the technology they needed to complete their semester online, or risk losing them entirely. "We're talking about 400-500 students who would have had to stop their education completely," added Wright.

To salvage the rest of the semester, the college worked in partnership with Comcast Houston to identify those students who needed a broadband connection and to get them connected. Read more.

Comcast Houston and YMCA partner to boost digital learning for children of essential workers during pandemic
Comcast Houston and the YMCA have collaborated to leverage Comcast’s Internet Essentials High-Speed Internet Adoption Program and the Y’s commitment to strengthening communities.

Comcast launches new Internet Essentials Programs as nation gears up for the academic year
With distance learning plans rolling out across the country due to the coronavirus, Comcast on Aug. 13 announced a new program for cities, schools, and nonprofits to connect large numbers of low-income K-12 students to the internet at home. The “Internet Essentials Partnership Program” is designed to help accelerate internet adoption at a critical time. Read more.

Comcast announces new Xfinity offering to help educators stay connected this fall
Comcast on Aug. 20 announced a new Xfinity Internet offer for K-12 teachers and administrators as well as university faculty and staff aimed at helping connect America’s educators as they prepare for the upcoming school year. Eligible faculty, staff and administrators in the Comcast footprint will receive a $150 Visa prepaid card, which is worth about two months of Internet service, when they sign up for an Xfinity package. Read more.

Comcast NBCUniversal recognized on PEOPLE’S ’50 Companies that Care’ list
Comcast NBCUniversal has been named by PEOPLE Magazine as one of the top “50 Companies that Care,” placing 7th on the annual list. The distinguished honor by PEOPLE highlights the top US companies that demonstrate outstanding respect, care and concern for their employees, their communities, and the environment. This is the third consecutive time PEOPLE has recognized Comcast on the list for its ongoing commitment to create real and lasting impact in the communities where its employees live and work. Read more.

Comcast NBCUniversal named the No. 1 employer on Military Times' Best for Vets: Employers 2020 List
Comcast announced that Comcast NBCUniversal has been recognized as the top employer for veterans by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Employers 2020 list.

This marks the fifth consecutive year of being honored on the list and the first time Comcast NBCUniversal was named at the top of the list. The rise to #1 is a reflection of the company’s ongoing commitment to creating a military-friendly and military-ready environment for our employees. Read more.

Sparklight extends help in Texas, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Laura
As Texas and Louisiana communities begin the process of recovery and restoration following the devastation of Hurricane Laura, Sparklight, part of the Cable One family of brands, has committed to providing both community support and associate assistance toward hurricane relief efforts.

Sparklight has pledged to donate $15,000 to the American Red Cross to support recovery efforts for residents of impacted communities. Additionally, the company will match associate donations to the Cable One Disaster Relief Fund, which was established to support company associates who are impacted by natural disasters. Read more.

Sparklight invests $50 million in Texas to support next generation technology
Sparklight is connecting customers to what matters most with investments of more than $50 million across Texas over the past five years in order to bring the fastest and most reliable internet to Texas residents and businesses.

“Providing fast and reliable internet to our customers and communities is at the heart of what we do each and every day,” said Julie Laulis, President & CEO. “Seamless connectivity is critical - especially in unprecedented times like these when our customers are accessing work, education, and entertainment from home, as well as staying connected to loved ones. These are the things that matter most to our customers and the reason why we’re investing so heavily in the communities we serve.” Read more.

Sparklight donates $50,000+ to K-12 schools
As K-12 schools face unique challenges heading into the 2020- 2021 school year in the midst of a pandemic, Sparklight and the other Cable One family of brands have donated more than $50,000 to schools in the communities they serve in an effort to help fulfill the need for traditional school supplies as well as increased needs for technology and protective equipment.

“As students and teachers head back to school this fall, we know budgets are tight due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and there are many schools and students who may lack the resources to purchase school supplies,” said Julie Laulis, President & CEO. “We hope these donations will assist in providing the tools and materials needed to help start the school year off right.” Read more.
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