It will be easier than ever for kids and parents to connect to news, resources, educational tools, and their friends and family networks as the 2017-2018 school year begins.
On August 15, Comcast announced its Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans, now connects more than four million low-income Americans to high-speed Internet service at home.
The State of Colorado is in the top 10 nationally for connected households in the country, having connected more than 42,000 low-income households benefitting approximately 168,000 Coloradans.
WATCH DENVER MAYOR MICHAEL HANCOCK ON INTERNET ESSENTIALS (At 1:36)
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said, “Internet is essential for all of us and for everyone – school age children, working individual, seniors. There’s not much you do today that’s not internet based.”
NEW THIS YEAR
Comcast announced it is increasing the program’s Internet services speeds from 10 Mbps to 15Mbps, improving streaming quality in the home and allowing multiple devices to connect to fast Internet simultaneously.
In addition, Internet Essentials customers can now enjoy 40 hours of free out-of-home WiFi access per month thanks to the company’s growing network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots. This means two hours of homework on the go every school night. And then, when the kids get home, they can jump on WiFi at home to do even more homework!
- In Colorado – there are more than 41,000 public Xfinity WiFi hotspots.
- In Denver – there are nearly 1000 public Xfinity WiFi hotspots.
Through expansions over the last six years, Comcast increased program eligibility 10 times to include more families with school-aged children, those receiving HUD housing assistance, and low-income seniors in select markets.
Internet Essentials provides high-speed Internet service to qualifying families for $9.95 a month plus tax, as well as 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.
Low-income households are less likely to subscribe to broadband Internet service at home compared to higher income families, which has a negative impact on the scholastic achievement of children from low-income families. A lack of Internet service at home limits the job prospects for the entire household, and limits access to healthcare, news, information, and entertainment.
Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address this digital divide. And with this year’s improvements to the program, Comcast is excited to see more families accessing the resources and information they need.
David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast, made the announcements in Miami Tuesday with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who will serve for the second year as Internet Essentials’ national spokesperson.
“When we started this program six years ago, we never imagined four million low-income Americans would benefit from it,” said Cohen. “We also never would have reached this milestone without our many dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world.”
For more on this announcement, and to learn if you or someone you know can qualify to receive low-cost Internet in the home through Internet Essentials, click here.