This morning at Ballou Senior High School in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., I had the privilege of joining FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and local and national community leaders to officially launch Internet Essentials in the city. Increasing broadband adoption has been a key priority for the FCC under Chairman Genachowski's leadership, and he spoke about the challenges of getting more of the 33% of American homes that are not connected to the Internet online.
As we've launched the program in cities across the country, we've worked closely with school districts and over 1,000 community-based organizations. In partnership with them, we have already distributed 10 million pieces of literature about the program, 98% of which were bilingual. Over the coming months, we'll continue these outreach and education efforts.
Today at the new Ballou, Chairman Genachowski and I got to talk to students who were working on college scholarship applications. The students want to apply to schools including Howard, Stanford, Harvard, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. These students have the ambition, the motivation, the smarts to reach the highest levels, but many have one hand tied behind their back because they can't access the Internet at home. This is exactly the issue Comcast's Internet Essentials program seeks to address.
Ballou's principal Rahman Branch has the ambitious goal of every student at the school having computer and Internet access at home — Internet Essentials can help make that happen.
DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson noted that online communication is becoming the main way schools are communicating with parents and online access is critical for students. She believes online access is essential for students to have the opportunity to be global citizens and compete around the world.
Tomorrow, I'll join Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock in Denver, Colorado. As more kids return to school this month, Comcast will continue to introduce Internet Essentials to more cities across the country.
To read previous announcements about the program, click here.