Company’s Internet Essentials Program Has Connected More Than 6 Million Low-Income Individuals to the Internet Including 200,000 in Tennessee
Company Expands Eligibility for Internet Essentials to Low-Income Veterans, Including Nearly 1 Million Nationally and 20,000 Veterans in Tennessee
NASHVILLE, TN – Sept. 17, 2018 — Comcast is hosting a series of events across Nashville today designed to throw a spotlight on the urgent need to bring more Internet access and training to local families, students and veterans.
Comcast announced it has connected more than 6 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 more than 200,000 residents across the state of Tennessee. 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 significantly expand eligibility – for the 11th time – to low-income veterans, including one million nationally and 20,000 in the state of Tennessee. According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, nearly a third of low-income veterans do not have Internet access, and less than 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. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to more than one million, low-income veterans. 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.”
Tennessee Deputy Governor Jim Henry, Comcast Senior EVP David L. Cohen and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson are revealing the launch of the Internet Essentials veterans expansion at a military appreciation event today at Operation Stand Down Tennessee, to an audience of local veterans, elected officials and community leaders. Comcast is also announcing it will provide a grant to support a new computer lab at Operation Stand Down Tennessee, specifically aimed at meeting the digital literacy needs of veterans as well as a grant for Vets Who Code for occupational technology training.
In addition, Comcast is also holding a digital literacy assembly at John Overton High School to help accelerate digital literacy efforts in the area. During the rally, 100 students will be recognized as digital ambassadors and given new laptops to encourage their engagement with the most diverse community in Tennessee. The company is also announcing it will open a computer lab at Legacy Mission Village which will encourage digital literacy for neighborhood refugee students and their families.
“Internet access levels the playing field in terms of access to opportunities,” said Nashville Mayor David Briley. “This commitment from Comcast will bridge the digital divide for many families in our community and, by doing so, provide access to information, learning and connectivity to those who often feel left behind.”
According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 77 percent of all U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, but only 57 percent of households with an annual income of less than $35,000 do. To attack that problem, 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.
Sara Jo Walker