~ Federal Grant Proposal Would Bring Innovative Cricket Broadband
Service, Digital Literacy Training to More Low-Income Communities ~
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 17, 2009--
Cricket Communications, Inc., a leading provider of unlimited
wireless services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless
International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP), today announced the filing of an
application for federal Recovery Act funding, in partnership with One
Economy Corporation. The grant proposal would extend Project Change
Access – an innovative program for affordable wireless broadband service
– to low-income residents in five cities.
The proposal to the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications
and Information Administration for a Broadband Technology Opportunities
Program (BTOP) grant would build on the success of Project Change
Access, launched in Portland, Ore., last fall as a pilot program by LCW
Wireless and One Economy. LCW Wireless, a company in which Cricket owns
a non-controlling interest, offers Cricket® unlimited service
in Oregon markets. One Economy is a global non-profit organization that
leverages the power of technology and information to connect low-income
people to the economic mainstream.
This proposal would serve an additional 23,000 low-income families
primarily in Baltimore, Houston, Memphis, San Diego and Washington, D.C.
with sustainable, innovative broadband access and digital literacy
training. Through a scalable “end to end” approach, Project Change
Access would furnish subsidized, low-cost wireless broadband via
Cricket’s high-quality, all-digital 3G wireless network and a wireless
device designed to work with both desktops and laptops.
One Economy would provide specialized sustainability programs that
include personal technology tutoring via its “Digital Connectors,” a
national youth corps that receives leading-edge technology training and
extends the benefits by providing service to their communities. One
Economy would also provide targeted and localized content for education,
employment, and health care through its multiple online portals.
In Portland, this program has succeeded in getting and keeping
low-income community members online, with wireless access, modems,
training and other support. The project has also helped to bring the
benefits of digital citizenship to participating families, improving
access to educational resources, job programs, health care and social
Project Change Access is designed to help bridge the digital divide for
low-income households that lack meaningful broadband alternatives
because – even when high-speed network coverage is available – it is not
always affordable to low income households. In 2009, the Pew Internet &
American Life Project reported 35 percent of households with annual
income of $20,000 or less had adopted broadband, compared to 63 percent
“As we have seen in the results of the Portland pilot of Project Change
Access, universal broadband is the key to economic revitalization in
low-income communities that need growth in businesses and jobs the
most,” said Dave Maquera, vice president, strategy at Leap. “Cricket
remains committed to bringing the benefits of wireless and mobile
broadband to everyone, including low-income families who deserve the
benefits of digital innovation that online access brings.”
Rey Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer of One Economy, said: “Our
partnership with Cricket will open new opportunities through the
powerful tool of broadband and provide people with the resources to
access the information they need to make productive decisions about
their own lives. Our approach is designed to create a culture of use to
ensure those benefits are meaningful and sustainable.”
For more information on the Portland pilot of Project Change Access, the
following video can be accessed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHenwT_JM5g.
Cricket is the pioneer of simple and affordable unlimited wireless
services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required serving
more than four million customers in 34 states. Cricket offers wireless
voice and broadband Internet services over the latest technology,
high-quality, all-digital 3G CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network.
Cricket’s wireless voice service plans include unlimited anytime
minutes, unlimited U.S. long distance, unlimited text and picture
messaging, unlimited text to Mexico, unlimited Mobile Web, unlimited
directory assistance, as well as a variety of calling features and
feature-rich mobile applications such as popular games, ringtones and
wallpapers. Cricket Broadband provides unlimited Internet access
anywhere within Cricket’s coverage areas at speeds comparable to DSL.
For more information on Cricket, visit www.mycricket.com.
Cricket is offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered
in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit www.leapwireless.com.
Leap is a U.S. registered trademark and the Leap logo is a trademark of
Leap. Cricket, Jump, the Cricket “K” and Flex Bucket are U.S. registered
trademarks of Cricket. In addition, the following are trademarks or
service marks of Cricket: Cricket By Week, Cricket Choice, Cricket
Connect, Cricket Nation and Cricket PAYGo. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.
About One Economy
One Economy is a global non-profit organization that uses innovative
approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to
low-income people. More than 17 million people have used One Economy's
online tools and resources to build better lives. Learn more at www.one-economy.com.
To date, One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S.
states, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Source: Cricket Communications, Inc.
Cricket Communications, Inc.
Greg Lund, Media Relations
Wakeham, Investor Relations