It’s been a long time coming and it’s not quite here yet, but cable TV giant Comcast is nearing one million users with its high-speed, $9.95 Internet Essentials Service. Comcast claims bragging rights as the nation’s largest and most comprehensive internet initiative for needy American families.
Since it was founded back in mid 2011, Internet Essentials has signed up more than 220,000 low income families. When all family members are added in, that comes to a total of approximately 900,000 low-income individuals who now have access to high speed internet in their homes.
Florida officials and school leaders have really gotten behind Comcast’s efforts. In fact, nearly 18,700 South Florida families and more than 30,000 statewide are now part of the Internet Essentials family.
“For school students today, digital literacy is no longer an option, it is a necessity,” enthused Miami Dade County School Superintendent Alberto 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.”
Comcast is expanding and improving the program. Download and upload speeds have increased to 5 Mbps and up to 1 Mbps respectively, the enrollment process has been simplified. Eligibility has been expanded to include families with children in parochial, private, and cyberschool.
Families interested in applying to the program can visit InternetEssentials.com and InternetBasico.com, and can even receive assistance in paying for the service by leveraging newly minted Opportunity Cards available through various community partners.
But the progress doesn’t stop there. Comcast has also distributed more than 18,000 low-cost computers and provided computer literacy training for nearly 20,000 additional people.
As you might expect, Comcast is justifiably proud of what it’s accomplished with Internet Essentials.
“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 Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen. “Together, with cities like Miami, we are making real and significant progress in closing the digital divide in America.”
C’mon, Comcast. Keep up the good work and you’ll soon fly past that 1,000,000 user mark.
We thank Comcast. And we thank the rest of the media for spreading the news.
For complete information on the program, go to our Internet Essentials information page.