Million Connected to 'Internet Essentials' Program

Donna Miller
August 16, 2018

According to a progress report released Monday, the company has connected more than 6 million Americans - 2 million in the past year alone - through Internet Essentials, which provides low-priced internet and digital literacy training.

Comcast has also invested more than half a billion dollars since 2011 to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 8.5 million low-income Americans.

- Comcast plans to expand eligibility of its Internet Essential program to low-income veterans, almost 1 million of whom live within the company's footprint, the company announced Monday. Even though the company only agreed to keep the program going for three years, it has continued to offer it beyond its original commitment.

Cities have tried to offer their own training programs or take steps to expand broadband options at a lower cost, but are also trying to partner with companies like Comcast to ensure there are cheaper options available.

The program was originally created to help poor families with school-aged children get connected to the Internet by offering a combination of discounted broadband service, low-priced computers, and free training programs to teach people how to use the technology.

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The Internet Essentials program is in its seventh year of providing broadband access to low-income families.

During a press conference call on Monday, Comcast's Senior EVP and Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen said the Internet Essentials program, which provides high-speed internet service for $9.95 per month plus tax to eligible customers, is the most successful internet adoption program, outpacing other initiatives by 10 times.

For nearly a decade politicians and policy makers in Washington, DC have been talking about closing the digital divide.

They will also be able to buy computers at a quarter of the price of what they cost in the store. The site now includes a variety of free videos, tools, and resources that can help individuals learn vital internet safety and digital skills.

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