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Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program Continues to Help Close the Digital Divide in Hartford and Throughout Connecticut

Today, Comcast Corporation announced Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, has expanded its senior pilot program to low-income seniors in Hartford.  Comcast also announced that it has now connected more than 32,000 residents from 8,000 households across the state of Connecticut.  Across the nation, Comcast has now connected more than four million low-income Americans, in one million households, to high-speed Internet service at home.

The Company also announced it has made two key program enhancements:

  • For the fourth time in six years, Comcast has increased the program’s Internet service speeds, this time from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps.  More speed was the number one requested enhancement from Internet Essentials customers, and this latest increase will improve streaming quality in the home (15 Mbps is three times the speed necessary to view a high definition video), especially when multiple devices are connected to the Internet at the same time.
  • To help family members connect to the Internet on the go and save money on their wireless bills, Internet Essentials customers can also now enjoy 40 hours of free out of home WiFi access per month to the company’s growing network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots.  This WiFi access is being offered in addition to the free in-home WiFi Internet Essentials customers currently enjoy.

In addition, Comcast today announced it is making three investments in local non-profit partners in Hartford.  First, Comcast will provide a grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford to support digital training for the more than 3,600 boys and girls served by the Club’s programs, including My.Future, which is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s signature digital literacy program.

Second, Comcast is investing in the Urban League of Greater Hartford to upgrade its technology center to support training and workforce development programs that will benefit more than 2,000 individuals and their families.  In addition, the Urban League will provide 20 training programs for the nearly 200 seniors who live at the Betty Knox Apartment Complex.

Third, Comcast announced it is donating a total of more than 100 computers to: the Hartford Housing Authority’s Betty Knox Senior Apartment Complex, young women participating in the YWCA’s Young Women’s Leadership Corps, and children involved with the Hartford Boys & Girls Club’s My.Future program.

This integrated approach is part of the core design of the Internet Essentials program to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption – digital literacy, access to computer equipment, and affordable 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.

David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, made these announcements in Hartford with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who is serving, for the second year in a row, as Internet Essentials’ national spokesperson.  Their visit in Hartford is part of a multi-city tour, which will run through October.

“When we started this program six years ago, we never imagined four million low-income Americans would benefit from it,” said Cohen.  “We also never would have reached this milestone without our many dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, libraries, and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world.  While this milestone is a wonderful moment to celebrate, it also inspires all of us to keep going to connect even more families to all that the Internet has to offer for education, jobs, healthcare, news, information, and entertainment.”

Also accompanying Cohen and Joyner-Kersee at the Betty Knox Apartment Complex was Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

“The Internet has become a necessity for all Hartford residents, and our aim is to expand access to quality, affordable Internet throughout our City,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.  “I want to thank Comcast for providing its Internet Essentials program for the last six years and the recent enhancements they’ve made to make it easier for more residents to get connected.”

 

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.

 

About Comcast

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.