(BOSTON) November 2, 2015 – The Sprint Corporation will stand before a Massachusetts state court judge on Tuesday to defend its plan to shut off broadband access to more than 300,000 vulnerable Americans this Friday. The hearing is in response to a preliminary injunction filed last week by the nonprofit organizations that manage Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen, which currently provide unlimited broadband service for just $10 a month to 429 schools, 61 libraries and 1,820 nonprofit organizations across the country on Sprint’s WiMax network – unless Sprint disconnects them at the end of this week as it currently plans.
The hearing comes on the heels of a new national advertising campaign quoting Sprint’s promotional materials espousing its commitment to closing the digital divide at the same time as it plans to disconnect hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children, teachers, parents and senior citizens: “At Sprint, we believe Internet access should be a basic human right.”
Last month, the nonprofit entities filed a lawsuit charging Sprint with failure to uphold its obligation to provide unlimited Internet service to Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon’s customers. The urgency created by the Friday shutdown escalated the need for more immediate intervention, so the nonprofits filed a motion for an injunction.
The emergency relief being requested includes ordering Sprint to maintain the WiMAX network in certain areas for 90 days to allow Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen time to migrate their users to Sprint’s LTE network. The motion also asks the court to compel Sprint to stop throttling and otherwise diminishing the level of Internet service that is required under the contracts — two elements the nonprofit organizations say are essential to a successful transition to the LTE network.
WHAT: Hearing on preliminary injunction to stop Sprint from disconnecting 300,000 vulnerable Americans’ Internet access
WHEN: Noon on Tuesday, Nov. 3
WHERE: Before Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders, 3 Pemberton Square, Boston, Courtroom 1017
About Mobile Citizen
Mobile Citizen offers mobile broadband service exclusively to nonprofits and schools at remarkably low cost. For more information, visit mobilecitizen.org. Mobile Citizen is funded by Voqal, a consortium of five nonprofit organizations committed to bringing technology to the education and nonprofit communities for over 25 years.
About Mobile Beacon
Mobile Beacon provides fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services exclusively to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations across the United States through an agreement with Sprint. Mobile Beacon was created by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the second largest national educational broadband service (EBS) provider in the country. We help educators and nonprofits get the Internet access they need and extend access within their communities to those who need it most. Learn more and visit Mobile Beacon at http://www.mobilebeacon.org/, http://www.facebook.com/mobilebeacon, and http://www.twitter.com/mobilebeacon.