david_cohen_web.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C.  – Comcast’s Internet Essentials program – a broadband adoption program – has connected more than 1 million low-income Americans to broadband Internet in their homes, most for the very first time.

“About 30 percent of Americans don’t have broadband Internet service at home.  As the nation’s largest Internet service provider, Comcast has focused its efforts on getting these Americans online.  Thanks to the help of thousands of community partners, in just over two years, we have connected an estimated 1 million low-income individuals, or more than 250,000 families, to the Internet at home.  To put that in perspective, that’s more than the entire population of a city like San Francisco or a state like Delaware or Montana,” said Vice President David L. Cohen in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.  “However, we still have a long way to go.  We are committed to working to expand and improve the program and to engaging with our nonprofit and government partners to help bridge this so-called digital divide.”

"Now, it’s more important than ever to ensure that all young people have access to technology and broadband services during non-school hours to ensure they develop the skills necessary to be successful in school and their careers.  We work with kids every day and see the difference that providing critical services, such as access to the Internet and technology training, can make in the future success of a young person.  We also see the negative impact when that access is not available,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“Overcoming these obstacles, in particular the variety of digital literacy issues that act as a barrier for our young people, requires commitment and persistence.  Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud to partner with Comcast
to close the digital divide and enable access for all.”

Internet Essentials empowers families to use the transformative technology of the Internet in their own homes to get ahead in work, school and life.  Based on a survey of Internet Essentials customers:
• 98 percent say their kids use the Internet for homework;
• 94 percent feel that Internet access at home has had a positive impact on their child’s grades;
• 66 percent use the Internet for health care and government services; and
• 59 percent feel that the Internet helped someone in their household find a job.

Internet Essentials 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, 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 who is  eligible to participate in the school lunch program lives in the household.