Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen recently announced that the company is indefinitely extending Internet Essentials, its nationwide program that provides qualifying low-income families with broadband Internet service for just $9.95 per month. By extending Internet Essentials beyond its initial three-year commitment, Comcast is advancing President Obama’s ConnectEd goal of linking 99 percent of U.S. students to Internet service in the classroom within five years.
Internet Essentials launched in 2011 and, since then, has provided Internet access for more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families. That includes more than 24,400 low-income Marylanders – or more than 6,100 families from across the state.
“Here at Comcast, addressing the digital divide head-on has long been a priority for our company,” continued Cohen. “We believe the Internet has the power to transform lives, strengthen communities, and inspire a new generation of leaders."
During a national teleconference on Tuesday, March 4th, Comcast also shared details of a recent study of Internet Essentials users conducted by Dr. John B. Horrigan, head of research for the F.C.C.’s National Broadband Plan and a former research director with Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project. Dr. Horrigan’s findings underscore the fundamental importance of home Internet access. His data show that:
- 98% of families said they signed up for Internet Essentials because their kids needed it for school;
- 83% said their child’s school expected that students have online access at home;
- 62% said they needed Internet service to look for or apply for jobs.
In addition to affordable home broadband service, Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program also offers eligible families the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150, as well as multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.For more information on Internet Essentials, including eligibility requirements, or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. For Spanish, visit www.InternetBasico.com or call 1-855-765-6995.