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President Obama lauds FCC partnership with Apple, other tech firms in ConnectED education program [u]

President Obama speaks about high-tech education at the State of the Union address. | Source: YouTube

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During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned Apple as one of the companies participating in the ConnectED initiative to connect 99 percent of students to advanced high-speed internet.

Update: In a statement to The Loop, Apple confirmed that its role in the ConnectED initiative spans across multiple divisions.

"We are proud to join President Obama in this historic initiative to transform America's schools," Apple said. "Apple has a long history in education, and we have pledged to contribute MacBooks, iPads, software and our expertise to support the ConnectED project. We look forward to announcing more details with the White House soon."

Speaking on the state of education in America, or more specifically the ConnectED high-tech initiative, President Obama gave a tip of the cap to Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon for their role in connecting U.S. students to the Internet.

"Last year I also pledged to connect 99 percent of our students to high-speed broadband over the next four years," President Obama said. "Tonight I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon, we've got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years without adding a dime to the deficit."

According to the President, the Federal Communications Commission is working with the tech giants in a move is being framed as a "down payment" ahead of Congressional oversight of the E-Rate plan.

In an accompanying State of the Union fact sheet (PDF link) provided by the White House, it was announced that President Obama will further detail philanthropic partnerships with tech companies including Apple in the coming weeks.