Low-Income Families in Portland Will Soon Have Free Broadband Internet at Home

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Cricket Will Provide Free High-Speed Wireless Internet to 100 Portland Families in Pilot Program with One Economy

We pride ourselves on making wireless service attainable for everyone - including mobile broadband - so we're thrilled to partner with One Economy on this pilot program for our City's neediest families.

The Portland metro area may be in the heart of the Silicon Forest, but too many low-income families remain unable to take advantage of the opportunities technology creates. Cricket will change that reality for 100 Portland families by providing free high-speed wireless Internet directly to those families' homes. One Economy, a global nonprofit, assisted in the identification of the 100 Portland Families and is partnered with Cricket for this pilot program that Cricket hopes to expand across its other markets.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, statistics show that while 50 percent of American households have adopted broadband, only one-fourth of households with an annual income of $20,000 or less have broadband at home--and that number has actually decreased during the past year. As part of this pilot program, Cricket will provide free mobile broadband service for two years to 100 low-income Portland families.

Cricket and One Economy identified the initial 100 families in Portland in consultation with local organizations and schools. In addition to providing free mobile broadband service, Cricket will also provide a free USB broadband modem (a $180 value) to the first 10 families in the Portland program.

"Statistics show that low-income families need assistance bridging the digital divide and gaining access to technology that can open new doors to a more successful future. Portland's low-income families are no different in that regard," said Neil Grubb, president and CEO of Cricket LCW, the joint venture responsible for bringing Cricket® service to Oregon and Southwest Washington. "We pride ourselves on making wireless service attainable for everyone - including mobile broadband - so we're thrilled to partner with One Economy on this pilot program for our City's neediest families."

"Low-cost wireless technology creates opens new opportunities, but many low-income families are not able to realize those possibilities," said Rey Ramsey, chief executive officer of One Economy. "Our partnership with Cricket Wireless will give these Portland families a wonderful tool for improving their lives."

In addition to Cricket's contributions, three additional groups will help subsidize the costs of communications services in the pilot. Friends of the Children will provide subsidies for 25 low-income mentors in its outreach program, each of whom is responsible for mentoring four youth. Centro Cultural will subsidize modems for 25 families in its program who already have computers at home. And the City of Portland will provide a partial subsidy for modems for 50 families with contributions from the programs within its jurisdiction.

Cricket has offered high-speed Internet via its all-digital wireless network in Portland since November 2007.

About Cricket®
Cricket is a simple, affordable wireless service offering consumers and local businesses a flat-rate unlimited service over the latest technology, high-quality, all-digital CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network. Designed for customers whose basic and advanced wireless needs have not been met by traditional communications companies, Cricket is the pioneer of unlimited services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required. Cricket offers customers access to a variety of the latest devices and feature-rich mobile applications such as unlimited text, instant and picture messaging, Mobile Web, popular games, ringtones and wallpapers. For more information on Cricket, visit http://www.mycricket.com. Cricket services are offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit http://www.leapwireless.com.

About Cricket LCW
Cricket LCW is joint venture between Cricket Communications, Inc., CSM Wireless, and WLPCS Management providing Cricket® wireless service in Portland, Salem, and Eugene, OR, and Vancouver, WA. For more information on Cricket LCW, visit http://www.mycricketoregon.com.

About One Economy
One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit that leverages the power of technology and information to connect low-income people the economic mainstream. One Economy brings broadband into the homes of low-income people, produces public-purpose media, and trains and employs youth to enhance communities' technology capacity. One Economy's work has connected 300,000 Americans to broadband and given more than 15 million people access to online tools and resources. Learn more at http://www.one-economy.com.

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Claudia Johnson
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