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Over Six Million Low-Income Americans Have Crossed Digital Divide With Comcast Essentials

8/24/2018, 6 a.m.
In a recent press release, Comcast announced it has now connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet ...
Monique Lamoureux-Morando; Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast presented laptops to eligible low-income veterans from Veterans Upward Bound (VUB), an organization dedicated to fully developing the personal potential of all U.S. military veterans. Courtesy Photo/Comcast

— In a recent press release, Comcast 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 United States.

More than two million people were connecred in the last year alone— the largest annual increase in the program’s history.

Comcast also announced it will significantly expand eligibility— for the eleventh time in seven years— to low-income veterans, nearly one million of whom live within the Comcast footprint.

According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access, and about 60 percent 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 one 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.

Comcast 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.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Comcast to help close the digital divide for families, students, seniors, and veterans,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando. “People without an Internet connection at home are missing out. Students need the Internet to do their homework. Parents and veterans need the Internet to more easily search and apply for jobs and access healthcare information.”

“We know how important a home Internet connection is,” added Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. “In our lives, we’ve also learned first-hand how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. We want to encourage others to use the Internet to stand up for what they believe in and to make the world a better, fairer place, not just for themselves, but for the next generation, too. You can’t change the world if you’re not online.”

The move to extend Internet Essentials eligibility to low-income veterans is the second largest expansion in the program's history.

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. It provides low-cost, high-speed Internet 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. For more information about the program or to apply, visit: www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can call 1-855-765-6995.