Photo via Comcast

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Connects 220,000 Families/900,000 Americans to the Internet

COMCAST’S INTERNET ESSENTIALS CONTINUES TO GAIN MOMENTUM, CONNECTS

MORE THAN 220,000 FAMILIES OR 900,000 LOW-INCOME AMERICANS TO THE POWER


OF THE INTERNET AT HOME

Comcast, Congresswoman Wilson, Miami Dade County Schools, and the Miami Dade League of

Cities Officially Kick Off Year Three of National Program to Bridge the Digital Divide

Comcast Announces Another Speed Increase, More than Tripling Download Speeds for

Customers Since the Program’s Launch

Miami, FL August 13, 2013 With the start of the new school year, Comcast is re-launching Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade League of Cities President and Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn, and Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen, along with civic and community leaders, today kicked off the program’s third year and announced that, in about 22 months, more than 220,000 families, benefitting an estimated 900,000 low-income Americans nationwide, now have a broadband connection at home. This includes nearly 18,700 families in the South Florida area, and nearly 30,000 in the state of Florida.

Today’s event in Miami is one of the first in a series of back to school events Comcast is hosting in 23 states across the country to raise visibility about bridging the digital divide in America and connecting more families to the Internet.

“For school students today, digital literacy is no longer an option, it is a necessity,” said Carvalho. “Our curriculum and informational systems are all rapidly moving to the digital world, which means getting students connected to the Internet becomes a more critical task.”

“Thanks to community leaders and schools nationwide, more than 220,000 families or 900,000 low-income Americans now have the opportunity to use the power of the Internet at home to get ahead in work, education, and life, just by doing things online that many of us take for granted, such as completing homework, applying for a job, researching a health condition, or paying a bill,” said Cohen. “Together, with cities like Miami, we are making real and significant progress in closing the digital divide in America.”

The momentum of Internet Essentials continues to increase. Since the program’s launch in August 2011, Internet Essentials has enrolled upwards of 50,000 new families every six months. In the last six months alone, 70,000 new families have signed up. In addition, Comcast has distributed more than 18,000 subsidized computers; trained nearly 20,000 people; publicized the program in more than 4,000 school districts and more than 30,000 schools; broadcast nearly 2 million public service announcements and partnered with nearly 7,000 community based organizations, agencies, and officials to help spread the word about the program.

2013 Internet Essentials Enhancements:

To increase enrollment and continue to help close the digital divide in America, Comcast continues to enhance Internet Essentials. This year we have:

  • Increased Speed – For the second time in two years, Comcast has increased its broadband speeds for Internet Essentials customers up to 5 Mbps downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream. On September 1st, Comcast will have more than tripled the download speeds for Internet Essentials customers since the program’s launch.
  • Streamlined Enrollment Comcast has further streamlined the enrollment process by expanding the instant approval process for families whose students attend schools where 70 percent or more of the students are eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
  • Expanded Eligibility Comcast has expanded program eligibility criteria for the second time, to include parochial, private, cyberschool, and homeschooled students. Now, nearly 2.6 million families nationwide are eligible for Internet Essentials.
  • Created an Online Application Tool On InternetEssentials.com and InternetBasico.com, it is now easier and faster for a family to apply for Internet Essentials. This convenient online request form is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed through any Internet-enabled computer, tablet, or smartphone. It can be used by families on computers at community centers, local libraries or at a friend’s to request an application.
  • Introduced Internet Essentials Opportunity Cards Our community partners are now able to help connect low-income families to the Internet by purchasing Opportunity Cards that can be used toward the cost of paying for Internet Essentials service.

In Florida, Comcast is working with 150 community-based organizations, including 40 in Miami, to spread the word about Internet Essentials and provide digital literacy training. These organizations include: The Miami Public Library System; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Miami and Boys and Girls Club of Greater Miami.

About Internet Essentials:

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person. A household is eligible to participate if it has at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), is located where Comcast offers Internet service, has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days, and does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment. Families that enroll in the program can continue to enjoy the service as long as one child eligible to participate in the NSLP is living in the household.

For more information about Internet Essentials visit InternetEssentials.com for English and InternetBasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at 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) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

###

Note to Media:

MEDIA OUTLETS CAN DOWNLOAD BROADCAST QUALITY B-ROLL FOOTAGE, INTERVIEWS AND EVENT PHOTOS ON TUESDAY AUGUST 13 SHORTLY AFTER 12 Noon EST at the following website: http://cie.comcastfloridaproductions.com/.

Media Contacts:

National

Charlie Douglas, Senior Director Corporate Communications, Online and Voice Services

Phone: (215)-286-3353

Charlie_Douglas@comcast.com

Meredith Wertz, Manager Corporate Communications, Online and Voice Services

Phone: (215)-286-4933

Meredith_Wertz@comcast.com

Miami –

Mindy Kramer, Comcast Vice President of Public Relations/Florida Region

Phone: (561)-227-4286

Mindy_Kramer@cable.comcast.com

Latest News

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…