T-Mobile US expanded the data package options available in a free broadband initiative being launched to help an estimated 9 million underserved children access remote learning tools as demand for home-schooling soars due to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

The operator’s Project 10Million programme went live today (3 September) offering schools free wireless hotspots and up to 100GB of high-speed data per year, alongside “at cost” access to laptops and tablets “or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household”.

But, with the pandemic fuelling a surge in the number of children learning remotely, the operator said it was adding a 100GB per month and unlimited data options to the scheme.

CEO Mike Sievert (pictured) argued the change offers schools “flexibility” around online education, as the operator predicted almost 50 million children may require at least some access to remote learning tools in the new school year.

T-Mobile committed to the $10.7 billion project as part of its move to acquire Sprint, alongside pledges to deploy budget tariffs and a connectivity programme for emergency services providers, both of which it completed earlier this year.