Comcast announced today it is hosting a series of events in Seattle designed to raise awareness of the urgent need for more Internet access and training for local families, students, and veterans. Since 2011, Comcast has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, which is the largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income families in the U.S.
Washington State ranks eighth in the nation in terms of the number of residents who have embraced the Internet Essentials program. In fact, in the last seven years, more than 260,000 residents across the state, and more than 164,000 in the greater Seattle area, have signed up for the program.
The company also announced it has significantly expanded eligibility “ for the 11th time “ to include low-income veterans. This includes one million participants nationally, and nearly 60,000 across the state of Washington. According to the United States Census Bureaus 2016 American Community Survey, nearly a third of low-income veterans do not have Internet access, and less than 60 percent own a computer.
Internet Essentials has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children “ and now veterans “ who need access to high-speed Internet and technology resources, said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation. The Seattle community has its own unique challenges in relation to technology and Internet access. With programs like Internet Essentials, Comcast hopes to offer the region the tools it needs to bridge the digital divide and empower the community to grow and thrive.
David Cohen, and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson will speak at a digital literacy assembly at Beverly Elementary School today, to help accelerate access to technology resources for low-income students. During the rally, 150 students will be recognized as digital ambassadors and given new laptops to help provide them with resources they need to continue to expand their educational opportunities.
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In addition, Comcast highlighted Internet Essentials veteran expansion at the Bunker Labs Muster Conference to an audience of local veteran entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts. Bunker Labs is the nations premier veteran entrepreneurial training ecosystem designed to support veterans and their business ventures.
At the event, Comcast announced a grant to support the launch of the new Bunker Labs Digital Boot Camp pilot program. Specifically aimed at increasing digital skills and access for veteran entrepreneurs, this is the first program of its kind, created by Bunker Labs, that will operate exclusively in Seattle.
Finally, Comcast is holding a Future of Digital Inclusion roundtable today with leaders from some of the most influential community advocacy groups in the Puget Sound. This event will include discussions on diversity, inclusion, gender equality, technology access, and resources for marginalized communities across the Puget Sound.
Comcast 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, a lack of a computer and the absence of a low-cost Internet service. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners. For more information on Internet Essentials, visit www.internetessentials.com.
About Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nations 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 nations 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.