With cost of service and equipment as well as a lack of digital literacy among the main impediments, Comcast has developed a program that provides high-speed, residential Internet service for $9.95 a month, access to low-cost computer equipment, and digital-literacy training opportunities in print, online and in person. In its first year, Internet Essentials enrolled over 100,000 low-income families — that’s over 400,000 Americans (or the equivalent of the population of the city of Miami) — many of whom had never had Internet access before. The goal is to connect many more low-income families in the coming years, and Comcast is working hard to implement new features and processes designed to accelerate program enrollment.
Federal Communications Commission statistics tell us that millions of students come home from school every evening without being able to research their homework online or log into Internet work sessions with their teachers. Likewise, they cannot fill out scholarship, college or job applications electronically nor communicate with other students, friends and family. Internet Essentials is designed to change all that.
As the largest residential Internet service provider in the United States, Comcast has worked diligently to build a network to help American households and businesses take advantage of the ability to connect at high speeds. Through Internet Essentials, those who most need the opportunities the Internet provides can now access it in an affordable and educated way.
Super Bowl-winning Coach Tony Dungy recently signed on as national spokesman for the Internet Essentials program. He was inspired to get involved because of his long-standing commitment to helping those in need and to advancing educational opportunities for all.
"It’s critical that low-income families take advantage of opportunities like the Internet Essentials program," said Dungy. "The Internet provides access to a world of knowledge and resources that kids and families today simply cannot live without. The world is moving too fast and families who are not online at home are being left behind. Internet Essentials will help level the playing field and get more families connected."