Comcast, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Civic and Community Leaders Kick Off Year Two of the Groundbreaking Internet Essentials Program Designed to Help Close the Digital Divide
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Comcast Executive Vice President, David L. Cohen, and civic and community leaders today announced today announced year two of Internet Essentials, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption program designed to help close the digital divide among low-income Americans. In its first full year of availability, nearly 100,000 families, or 400,000 Americans, gained access to the Internet at home, and Comcast continues to enhance the program with new features and processes designed to accelerate enrollment in the program. Nearly 7,000 families signed on in Chicago alone, and more than 15,000 have signed on across the region, which includes much of Illinois, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.
"It is imperative that Chicago become a more digitally connected city so all of our children have the same opportunities and our adults can find jobs and help grow the city's economy," said Mayor Emanuel. "I am focused on closing the digital divide throughout our city and ensuring that every family in Chicago can benefit from getting online at home. Having widespread Internet access throughout our homes and in our neighborhoods will help the city move forward and ensure that our children have brighter opportunities in the future."
David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President, added, "I'd like to congratulate Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools for having made the Internet Essentials program such a resounding success. Cities like Chicago are making a tangible difference in the lives of their students and families who are now able to go online at home and access the endless resources the Internet has to offer."
New in 2012:
Since Internet Essentials launched, Comcast has made a number of program enhancements including:
Internet Essentials Program Details:
Internet Essentials addresses three primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified - a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful, the cost of a home computer and the cost of the Internet service. Program participants receive:
A household is eligible to participate if it meets all of the following criteria:Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials if at least one child eligible for a free or reduced lunch remains living in the household.
In Chicago, Comcast is working with a growing network of more than 1,100 community-based organizations, school districts, faith-based organizations, elected officials and others to spread the word about Internet Essentials and provide digital literacy training. In addition, since inception, Comcast has sponsored or participated in nearly 200 events to spread the word to those who could benefit from Internet Essentials.
For general information about Internet Essentials, please visit www.internetessentials.com for English, and visit www.internetbasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at www.internetessentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.