OKMULGEE, Okla. (OBV) – AT&T made a significant donation to Muscogee Nation students in the company’s ongoing effort to expand digital connectivity across Oklahoma.
The telecommunications company donated hundreds of computers to Muscogee Nation students in support of their academic pursuits.
“The digital divide in the Muscogee Creek Nation is prevalent,” Marissa Lewis, marketing coordinator for the College of the Muscogee Nation, said in a video released by AT&T.
Many tribal students live in rural areas with limited access to the digital devices needed to fully participate in today’s education landscape.
“The only technology I had was my cell phone,” said Sherry Dawn Butler, a College of the Muscogee Nation student. “It was a struggle working from my cell phone because it’s hard to keep track of my homework.”
AT&T teamed up with Compudopt, a Houston-based nonprofit that provides youth greater technological access and educational opportunities, to provide 300 laptops to Muscogee Nation students.
The laptops were distributed to students during a giveaway on the College of the Muscogee Nation campus.
“I was extremely happy to get my laptop,” said Butler. “My favorite part of the laptop will be the big screen, plus the keyboard.”
Having a computer and internet access amplifies the educational experience.
“It’s helped out tremendously,” said Joshua Haskew, a College of the Muscogee Nation student who also received a laptop.
Kyle Coulter, an area manager for AT&T’s External Affairs division, said high-speed internet is a bridge to life-changing possibilities.
AT&T has invested over $800 million in Oklahoma over the past three years to close the state’s digital divide by expanding its fiber and 5G networks. The company added over 200 wireless sites, including nearly 80 new macro cell sites and more than 125 small cells, to its 5G network last year
“With these investments, 5G now reaches more than 87 percent of Oklahomans,” said Joe Burgan with AT&T Public Affairs.
The company also grew its its 100 percent fiber-optic network by 50,000 locations in 2022, making faster fiber connectivity available to over 330,000 homes and small businesses throughout the state.