Comcast, One Ecomomy Partner For Broadband Education Program

Comcast Digital Connectors to help kids from diverse, low-income backgrounds become digitally literate

Comcast and nonprofit One Economy are teaming on broadband education program, Comcast Digital Connectors, that expands One Economy's existing Digital Connectors program.

The program was unveiled on Capitol Hill Monday, and blogged on by Comcast Executive VP David Cohen.

While One Economy is overseeing the broadband stimulus money bid for a coalition of civil rights groups focusing on education, the Comcast partnership does not include a bid for funds, according to a source.

In his blog, Cohen said that by the end of the 2010, the plan is to have the program operating in at least 22 cities including Washington and Philadelphia, where Comcast is based.

Kids 14-21 from "diverse, low-income backgrounds will get digital literacy training both after school and during the summer. They will be trained and expected to do community service in the form of sharing their new digital smarts with others in their community."

The kids are the Digital Connectors, connected by their interaction with Comcast employees, and with each other via a social network, says Cohen.

One Economy currently boasts almost 3,000 Digital Connectors and 50,00 hours of community service.

Comcast hopes to double that with its partnership in the program.

The cable industry has argued that the government should focus on adoption, education, and getting broadband to areas that are totally unserved.

The FCC is currently drafting a national broadband rollout plan, while the NTIA and USDA's Rural Utilities Service are handing out $7.2 billion in stimulus grant and loan money.