Comcast Enters Second Year of Internet Essentials
Celebrates milestone Monday at D.C. event
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/24/2012 2:48:58 PM
That comes a year after the company launched the program in the city at an event at Ballou High School. Internet Essentials is Comcast's program to provide low-cost ($9.95 a month) broadband to homes with students eligible for free and low-cost school lunch programs for as long as the children are in the home, as well as training and access to reduced-price computers .
At the event Monday, according to Comcast, executive VP David Cohen praised legislators, schools and community groups for helping make the program a success. The program received praise from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "In our ultra-competitive world, it is essential that families have access to the Internet," Mayor Gray said, according to the cable operator. "Reliable broadband access helps our children become stronger students and prepares them for an increasingly interconnected world. I am proud of the work we have done to help close the digital divide in Washington, D.C., but there is still much more to be done."
More than 100,000 families including 2,000 in the D.C. area have taken Comcast up on its offer low-cost broadband.
Since the program's launch, says Comcast, there have been a number of enhancements, including expanding eligibility, doubling broadband speeds, boosted digital literacy training, and streamlining the approval process.
Comcast will continue the offer through the end of the 2013-2014 school year and the discount will continue to be available to participating families so long as they continue to have an eligible student in the household.
Cohen was scheduled to join FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who attended the Ballou High School event last year, at a forum in D.C. Monday afternoon on broadband connectivity, sponsored by Comcast and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Last November, the FCC teamed with cable operators on an adoption program modeled on the Comcast effort.
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