Comcast Helps More Than 6 Million Cross Digital Divide
PHILADELPHIA — Comcast today announced it has now connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet Essentials program, the largest and most comprehensive broadband-adoption program for low-income families in the U.S.
The company connected more than 2 million people in the past year alone, which is the largest annual increase in the program’s history.
The company also announced it will significantly expand eligibility — for the 11th time in seven years — to low-income veterans, nearly 1 million of whom live within the Comcast footprint.
According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, less than 70% of low-income veterans have Internet access, and about 60% own a computer.
“This program has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children who now have high-speed Internet at home, many for the first time in their lives,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to more than 1 million, low-income veterans. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”
Since 2011, Comcast has invested more than half a billion dollars to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 8.5 million low-income Americans. In addition, the company has sold more than 85,000 heavily subsidized computers.
Comcast attributes some of the recent growth of Internet Essentials to its easy-to-use mobile application, which now accounts for more than a third of all enrollments. In addition, the company today released a new seven-year progress report. It contains detailed information about customer demographics and insights, as well as a history of the program’s evolution and key milestones. The company has also redesigned its Internet Essentials Learning Center with new content from Common Sense Media and ConnectSafely.org. The site now includes a variety of free videos, tools, and resources that can help individuals learn vital Internet safety and digital skills.
U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who were recently named as ambassadors and spokespeople for the company’s corporate values initiatives, will join Cohen on a multi-city tour to visit local communities and raise awareness about the Internet Essentials program. Both were instrumental in Team USA’s defeat of Canada for the gold in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, and are passionate advocates for gender equity.