Company’s Internet Essentials Program Has Connected More Than Six Million Low-Income Individuals to the Internet Including Nearly 350,000 in Georgia
Company Expands Eligibility for Internet Essentials to Low-Income Veterans, Including More Than 28,000 in Georgia
SAVANNAH, GA – August 15, 2018 — Comcast is hosting a series of events across Savannah today designed to put a spotlight on the urgent need to bring more internet service and digital skills into the lives of local low-income families, students and veterans.
Earlier this week, Comcast announced it has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet Essentials program, which is the largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income families in the U.S. This number includes nearly 350,000 residents across the state of Georgia, which is ranked sixth in the nation in terms of overall participation. In the last year alone, the company connected more than two million people to the program, which is the largest annual increase in its seven-year history.
The company also announced it will again expand eligibility – for the eleventh time – to low-income veterans, including more than 28,000 low-income veterans in the state of Georgia and one million nationally. According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access, and only about 60 percent own a computer.
“This program has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children who now have high-speed Internet at home, most for the first time in their lives,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to low-income veterans, with about one million eligible veterans across our service area. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”
Cohen will announce the expansion of the Internet Essentials program to low-income veterans in Georgia today at a military appreciation barbecue at the veteran-owned Service Brewing Co. The audience will include local veterans, key military leaders, elected officials, and community leaders. Comcast will also provide a grant to Savannah Technical College to support training for veterans pursuing civilian careers, with a focus on avionics.
“We truly appreciate Comcast’s commitment to bringing the Internet into more low-income homes, including this latest inclusion of local veterans,” said Dr. Bill Cathcart, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council Chairman. “This investment will help eligible military heroes communicate with family, access important resources, and assist them with further workforce development.”
In addition, Comcast will hold a digital literacy assembly at Butler Elementary School where the company will make a surprise donation of 100 laptops to fifth and sixth grade students from Butler Elementary School, Mercer Middle School and Myers Middle School. Comcast’s Cohen, and national spokespeople and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, will speak at a school assembly about the importance of using the Internet for schoolwork.
Cohen and the Lamoureux twins will also join Savannah’s top female entrepreneurs and community leaders at a women’s luncheon today at the DeSoto Hotel, where attendees will learn about the Comcast/Chatham County Schools’ “Girls Who Code” partnership. The twins will speak to the importance of women advocating for each other on issues such as pay equity.
According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 81 percent of all U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, but only 63 percent of households with an annual income of less than $35,000 do. To attack the digital divide, Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, the lack of a computer, and the absence of a low-cost Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.
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.