According to a five-year
progress report the company released today, Comcast’s acclaimed Internet
Essentials program has helped connect 750,000 families, or 3 million
low-income Americans, to low-cost, high-speed internet service at home.
David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity
Officer of Comcast Corporation, made the announcement alongside six-time
Olympic Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who was recently named the
national spokesperson for Internet Essentials. The two kicked off a
multi-city tour that, over the next six weeks, will stop in Chicago,
Houston, San Francisco, Denver, and Philadelphia where the company will
announce more than $2 million in grants to community-based organizations
that provide vital digital literacy training and internet access.
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Comcast Announces 3 Million Low-Income Americans Have Crossed the Digital Divide Through Its Internet Essentials Program (Photo: Business Wire)
“In the last five years, we’ve learned that no single company or
government program is ever going to fix the digital divide and that
solving a big, difficult societal issue like this takes nothing short of
a movement,” said Cohen. “We are so proud that thousands of community
partners around the country have helped us make a meaningful dent in the
digital divide. With the recent announcement of our expansion to
HUD-assisted homes, we look forward to bringing this essential
connection to even more families over the next five years. There is
still more good work to do.”
“I’ve dedicated my life to inspiring young people to have the confidence
to succeed in both academics and athletics,” said Joyner-Kersee. “At my
foundation’s community center in East St. Louis, I’ve seen first-hand
the kids who grow up without internet service at home and the impact it
has on their futures. I’m proud to represent Internet Essentials and
help close the digital divide, so every child can have the chance to
develop to their fullest potential and reach their dreams.”
The progress report comes on the heels of a recent announcement by
Comcast to expand the program’s eligibility to households receiving
HUD-housing assistance, including public housing, Housing Choice
Voucher, and Multifamily programs.
In total, there are up to 2 million HUD-assisted homes in Comcast’s
service area across the country, which, according to HUD, account for
approximately 40 percent of all its households. The announcement means
even more individuals, including seniors, veterans, and adults without
children, are now eligible to apply to the program.
The comprehensive Internet Essentials Five Year Progress Report,
available online here,
includes significant new milestones highlighting the program’s impact on
the lives of its customers since its launch in 2011. In addition to the
3 million connections delivered since its inception, the report shows
that Comcast has invested more than $300 million in cash and in-kind
support to help fund digital literacy training and educational
initiatives, reaching nearly 4.4 million people through national and
local nonprofit community partners.
The report goes on to note that, since the launch of the program,
Comcast has distributed 54,000 subsidized computers and partnered with
more than 9,000 community partners, including schools and school
districts, community-based organizations, elected officials, and
businesses who understand the importance of bringing the Internet home.
Internet Essentials Investments
Since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $300 million in cash and
in-kind support to fund digital literacy initiatives nationally,
reaching nearly 4.4 million people through our national and local
nonprofit community partners. Additional key program milestones and
facts through June 2016 include:
Dedicated more than $1.8 million in grants to create Internet
Essentials Learning Zones, where networks of nonprofit partners
are working together to enhance public Internet access and
increase family-focused digital literacy training in Atlanta,
Baltimore Chicago, Denver, Fresno, and Seattle, among others.
Broadcast 8.5 million public service announcements, valued at
nearly $110 million.
Provided more than 54,000 subsidized computers at less than $150
Distributed nearly 53 million pieces of Internet Essentials
program material for free.
Welcomed more than 6.4 million visitors to the Internet Essentials
English and Spanish websites, and its Online Learning Center.
Fielded more than 4.4 million phone calls to our Internet
Essentials call center.
Offered Internet Essentials to more than 55,000 schools in more
than 5,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of
Partnered with over 9,000 community-based organizations,
government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected
officials to spread the word.
About Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most
comprehensive high-speed internet adoption program. It provides low-cost
high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to
purchase an internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options
to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.
For more information, or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com
or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology
company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.
Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed internet
and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and
also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news,
entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast
networks, television production operations, television station groups,
Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com
for more information.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160824005742/en/