Two young students laying in a field use a laptop to study.
Digital Equity

New Discovery Education and Comcast Study Highlights Opportunity for United States Schools to Help Students Overcome Digital Divide

Washington, D.C.

Discovery Education, worldwide edtech leader, and Comcast released a new study showing that U.S. schools are well-positioned to help families get online with low-cost, high-speed Internet options through the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

However, the study also found that educators lack centralized resources and direct support necessary to successfully overcome barriers to the digital divide. Released to help support this year’s Digital Inclusion Week theme of “Building Connected Communities.”

The Discovery and Comcast logos over a teacher instructing a class of young students using laptops.

Key findings include:

To help further address these issues, Comcast is helping school administrators more quickly and easily access additional resources to get more households enrolled in the ACP during the back-to-school season through the Online For All Back to School Challenge, led by the U.S. Department of Education and Civic Nation.

A new online tool from Comcast is designed to help administrators quickly and easily assess ACP eligibility in their school districts. They can also learn about which schools have the lowest broadband adoption rates in their area. This valuable data will enable school leaders to better tailor communications around the ACP and direct families to resources that can assist in supporting Internet adoption.

Ensuring every student in America has access to reliable, high-speed Internet in the classroom and at home is a top priority for Comcast’s Project UP.
Broderick Johnson
EVP of Public Policy and EVP of Digital Equity, Comcast Corporation

“The combination of historic investments in universal broadband, public-private collaboration, and private industry support will together ensure that neither availability nor affordability stand in the way of achieving connectivity for everyone,” said Broderick Johnson, EVP of Public Policy and EVP of Digital Equity, Comcast Corporation.

“At Discovery Education, we are on a mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. Today, no matter where learning takes place, access to and adoption of high-speed Internet is an essential ingredient for student success. As Comcast's education partner in this work, we’re proud to support efforts to ensure students and families have the tools necessary to meet the demands of the modern learning environment,” said Amy Nakamoto, EVP of Social Impact, Discovery Education.

“Today, 17 million unconnected households are eligible for low-cost, high-speed Internet under the Affordable Connectivity Program. Civic Nation is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education, school districts, and organizations across the country through Online For All to close this gap and ensure every student and family has equitable access to learning, both at home and in the classroom,” said Kyle Lierman, CEO of Civic Nation.

Additional findings from the study include:

There is widespread agreement that the pandemic forcefully evolved and rapidly closed gaps in the digital divide as schools moved swiftly to remote learning. This cultural shift was met with success stories of connectivity and technological advancements, but also shined a light on students and families who did not experience equitable access to learning because of lack of connectivity or devices, or other barriers that made remote learning cumbersome.

This study and partnerships were made possible by Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. Part of Comcast’s $1 billion commitment is prioritizing Internet connectivity and its impact on education. In addition, through providing low-cost broadband through Internet Essentials to families and the Internet Essentials Partner Program (IEPP) for schools, Comcast continues to ensure there are no barriers to home connectivity that could impede learning.


Commitment to reach tens of millions of people.