Holds Community Forum to Engage Thought Leaders, Gives Away 50 Laptops to Students
120,000 Low-Income Tennesseans Benefitting from the Internet Essentials Program
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Dec. 14, 2017 — Comcast hosted a series of events in Chattanooga today designed to raise awareness about digital inclusion and highlight the urgent need to close the digital divide among families and students through its Internet Essentials program. Internet Essentials, now in its sixth year, is the Company’s signature community investment program and the nation’s largest and most successful broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Since 2011, more than four million low-income Americans, living in more than one million households, have benefitted from the effort. The number includes 120,000 residents across Tennessee.
This morning at the TechTown technology learning center, Comcast hosted a policy discussion and panel with government officials, community influencers and thought leaders to address the role of digital literacy and to expand upon current efforts in closing the digital divide. The panelist included Dr. Elaine Swafford, Principal at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Charlie Brock, CEO of Launch Tennessee, Dr. Zac Brown, Director, Opportunity Zone Schools along with Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Tina Simmons.
“Today, Chattanooga was united with nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, and advocates who all believe that the Internet is essential for everyone,” said Chris Ramsey, CEO, TechTown Chattanooga. “We thank Comcast for continuing to address this ever important issue and for the role they have played in bridging the digital divide in Hamilton County.”
To help accelerate the effort, Comcast also gave away 50 laptops to deserving students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and Orchard Knob Middle School at a Comcast Internet Essentials community rally event today.
“Comcast has not just given these children a new piece of technology, they have been given a piece of hope, a boost in confidence and a new opportunity to succeed,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.
Internet Essentials’ integrated approach is part of the program’s core design to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption – digital literacy, access to computer equipment, and low-cost Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners, to address this complex set of broadband adoption issues.
“Comcast has played a defining role in shaping the future of media and technology, and we maintain an unwavering commitment to address the barriers to broadband adoption across the communities we serve,” said Tina Simmons, Senior Vice President of Human Resources of Comcast Corporation, Central Division. “We are grateful for the partners who have helped make the Internet Essentials program a success, and for the programs they have developed to build up our youth.”
About Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. It provides low-cost high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person. For more information, or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.