Our Values In Action
Building Better Connections
Humbling is the word Comcast Communications Technician Jamaine Cash uses to describe what it’s like to connect the digitally unconnected. Cash is among Comcast’s 2,500+ Internet Essentials Ambassadors, employees who volunteer to spread the word about our broadband adoption program, which aims to close the digital divide — the gap between those with an internet connection at home and those without.
“Having an opportunity to do good at my job and a way to give back is something I look forward to doing every day,” says Cash, who promotes the program at community events in and around greater Philadelphia. “Whether I’m handing out a flyer or volunteering for an event, it makes me feel accomplished knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life.”
Today, more than ever, high-speed internet at home is a critical tool for learning, doing homework, finding jobs, discovering skills, and connecting to one another. Internet Essentials is ensuring that all low-income households in Comcast’s service area have the opportunity to benefit from the vast resources and knowledge that come with being digitally connected.
Since Comcast launched Internet Essentials in 2011, we have connected more than 8 million low-income Americans to the internet at home. Eighty percent of these customers are people of color, and 75% are women. Over the past eight years, we have made more than 35 enhancements to the program, doubling down on our investment by improving the quality of the internet service, streamlining the application process, and engaging communities more deeply. Eleven of these program enhancements made the universe of potential customers ever-larger by expanding the eligibility requirements.
For Sujita Dhakal, who moved to Colorado from Nepal in 2010, Internet Essentials helped ease her transition to American culture. When she came to the United States, the language barrier proved difficult. Working to make ends meet in a new country while caring for their young son and daughter, she and her husband didn’t see much of each other.
She learned about Internet Essentials from a neighbor who had the service. “I use the internet to translate words I don’t understand, to apply for a driver’s license, to get my beautician’s license, to apply for citizenship,” she says. “I’m learning so many new things from the internet, including how to adjust to America. Internet Essentials changed my life.”
The power of the Internet Essentials program isn’t just felt by customers like Dhakal. It’s equally felt by our own Ambassadors, like Cash.
He recalls one outreach event where he talked to a single mother about Internet Essentials and got her interested in the program. A month later, he happened to be the technician assigned to do the installation for her.
Says Cash: “To see both sides of how it works, seeing her happy and seeing her kids happy being able to have the internet finally in her home — it’s a great feeling.”
The Foundation for Connectivity
Throughout 2018, we hosted a multi-city tour of schools and community centers to highlight Internet Essentials and help connect more low-income families to the power of the internet in their own homes.