Date posted: July 27, 2011
We’ve recently been in several meetings about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, most recently when Tony Williams spoke to the National Association for Media Literacy Education conference in Philadelphia. Under this initiative families living in Comcast service areas that have children in the federal free lunch program are eligible to receive deeply discounted broadband service, a computer at a reduced price, and free training.
Internet Essentials builds on several experiments within the cable industry to drive broadband adoption among populations that aren’t signing up for high-speed internet connections. FCC data suggests that the three main barriers to broadband uptake are cost, fear of potential dangers, and lack of awareness of the benefits. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program addresses all three, through subsidized hardware, software, and connections, as well as training in internet safety and digital literacy.
Closing this “broadband adoption divide,” as we have previously noted is a priority of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. It’s also key to providing kids equal educational opportunities at a time when many of their peers are doing homework and research online. Furthermore, access to broadband can help families by offering parents a way to investigate employment opportunities, search for health information, or find government services.
Learn more about Internet Essentials here and see how you can help spread the word!