Comcast Internet Essentials program increases family-focused digital literacy
Posted on August 25th, 2014 by Rachel
Last year, I wrote a post about one of our fabulous corporate sponsors, The Comcast Foundation and its Internet Essentials program. I wanted to update you on this resource because the progress is remarkable!
Internet Essentials offers low-income families in Comcast markets high-speed Internet service, a low-cost computer, and access to free Internet trainings. It’s an affordable solution that supports Easter Seals families and other families across the country, too. This can be a huge help, especially now that it’s time for back-to-school preparation.
The Internet Essentials program just goes to show how Comcast is working to expand digital literacy by bringing technology into every home. A blog post written by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer in Community Investment at Comcast, reports that the Comcast Foundation has connected more than 350,000 families to the Internet in the past three years. Three hundred fifty thousand families means 1.4 million individuals. That’s more than the population of San Diego or San Antonio, almost the size of Philadelphia, and more than the population of 11 states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii!
New this year, Comcast will include up to six months of complimentary service for any new family that has not yet applied for Internet Essentials. Comcast knows there is no more important back-to-school supply than Internet service at home. In today’s classrooms, as well as in the workforce, students need to be digitally ready. Since Internet Essentials launched in 2011, Comcast has:
- invested more than $200 million in cash and in-kind support to help close the digital divide
- reached more than 1.75 million people through the program’s non-profit digital literacy partners
- sold nearly 30,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each.
- distributed nearly 37 million Internet Essentials brochures at no cost
- broadcast nearly 4 million
- welcomed nearly 2.2 million visitors to the Internet Essentials websites in English and Spanish and the Online Learning Center
- offered Internet Essentials to more than 30,000 schools and 4,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
The Comcast Foundation has also partnered with thousands of community-based organizations, government agencies, and federal, state and local elected officials to spread the word about Internet Essentials. They’ve dedicated $1 million in grants to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones, where networks of non-profit partners are working together to enhance public Internet access and increase family-focused digital literacy training in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, Miami, and Seattle, among others.
Thank you, Comcast. Your Internet Essentials program empowers people with special needs and their families and helping them to achieve the best quality of life possible.