According to some experts, bringing high-speed internet to every household in America — regardless of race, creed, or economic status — is one of the primary civil rights issues in America today.
One leading proponent of that position is Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen, the man who is the public face of the company’s cheap internet service for low income Americans, called Internet Essentials.
Cohen spoke recently to the Minority Media & Telecommunications council’s Hall of Fame luncheon.
“Civil rights advocates of 50 years ago fought and ultimately won the battle for equal rights,” Cohen noted. “But the battle for equal opportunity continues. And that battle won’t be won so long as we have people stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide because broadband technology is fast becoming the most essential tool for full participation in American society.”
Cohen believes digital equality is possible, but believes it will take the concerted efforts of a public-private partnership including the broadband industry, Silicon Valley, non-profit organizations, schools, the faith-based community and government.
“About 85 percent of U.S. households already have access to cable networks capable of speeds of 100 megs per second or more – compared to about 20 percent just four years ago,” Cohen observed. He attributed this remarkable increase to $1.2 trillion in private sector investment, most of which was made without government guarantees or subsidies.
While we applaud Cohen’s commitment, we’ve received many comments here at CheaptInternet.com from disappointed and disillusioned customers of Comcast and other cable and telephone companies who claim they want to deliver high speed internet access to America’s needy, but who bury their programs’ details on their websites or whose customer service people make it almost impossible to sign up.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re proud of what Comcast and other suppliers of cheap broadband are attempting to do, but they have a long way to go to make the dream of universal broadband access a reality.
We urge them to redouble their efforts in order to make it happen for the millions of low income Americans who so desperately need the service that they’ve been promised.