WASHINGTON (WWJ) — Comcast Corp. executive vice president David L. Cohen announced Wednesday that Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more than 1 million low-income Americans to broadband Internet in their homes, most for the first time.

This announcement came in testimony before the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The hearing examined the importance of expanding broadband adoption for Internet service nationwide and its role in providing new opportunities in education, health care, and employment.

Internet Essentials provides 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-

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 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 (855) 846-8376 or, for Spanish, (855) 765-6995.

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.

“About 30 percent of Americans don’t have broadband Internet service at home,” Cohen said in his senate testimony. “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. 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.”

Added Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America: “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. 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.”


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