Digital Diversity, Community Connections
It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person. In 2013, Comcast made a series of enhancements to the program designed to make it easier and faster for families to sign up, including expanding eligibility to parochial, private, charter, and homeschooled students and launching an online application in English and in Spanish. Since its launch, Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program has connected more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families, to the power of the Internet at home.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
As a media and technology company, we have the responsibility to help educate parents, teachers, and children about using technology safely. In a Common Sense Media survey of nearly 1,500 parents, the media-monitoring group found that the number of very young children using smartphones and tablets has increased dramatically in the last two years. According to the study, 38% of children under 2 have used a mobile device for media, up from only 10% in 2011.
NBCUniversal created Growing Up Online, a free interactive eBook on digital literacy and Internet safety that provides easy-to-use information about navigating the digital world in a unique and engaging way. The eBook includes safety tips, discussion questions, and key takeaways for parents and teachers, as well as video comic books for children focused on real situations. Growing Up Online was developed in collaboration with NBC News and The More You Know Learning Series, along with expert guidance from Common Sense Media and NetSmartz Workshop. Growing Up Online is available in both English and Spanish.
Hoping to inspire the next generation of science and technology innovators, Comcast supports the robotics program run by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), which culminates in a robotics competition among 10,000 high school teens worldwide. Since YE 2010, Comcast has sponsored 136 FIRST Robotics teams across the country, reaching about 3,400 students from multiple ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Over the past two years, more than 150 employees have served as mentors to FIRST Robotics teams.
Comcast also partnered with FIRST to create the Comcast Media & Technology Award, which recognizes one team for its outstanding communication and marketing skills. The 2013 winner, Team Panteras of Mexico, created an app to translate competition materials into Spanish, expanding the field of competition and widening FIRST’s global reach into Spanish-speaking countries.