Comcast Donates $200,000 and 200 Laptops to Support Digital Literacy
Training Efforts in the Bay Area
Partners with ConnectSafely.org to Release Free Internet Safety Guide
for Senior Citizens
LIVERMORE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Comcast announced California is the top state in the nation to
close the digital divide for low-income families. Nearly 115,000
families, or nearly 460,000 Californians, have signed up for home
internet through Comcast’s acclaimed Internet Essentials program. Now
entering its sixth year, Internet
Essentials has connected 750,000 low-income families nationally,
million Americans, to home-based internet service.
The company also announced more than $200,000 in grants for Bay Area
community organizations to build computer labs, create digital literacy
training classes, and purchase technology equipment. In addition, the
company donated 100 laptops to households at the George Davis Senior
Center in San Francisco, and 100 laptops to families who attend PLACE @
Prescott Elementary School in Oakland.
In addition, Comcast announced it has partnered with Larry Magid,
President and CEO of ConnectSafely.org, a California-based internet
safety nonprofit, to release a free Online & Mobile Safety Guide for
Seniors. The guide, which is available for download here,
addresses the unique needs of seniors who are learning to use the
internet for the first time.
“Since Internet Essentials first launched in 2011, we’ve made
significant progress in connecting low-income families with children to
the internet at home. In the past year, we opened up several new attacks
on the digital divide, including pilot programs for low-income senior
citizens and community college students,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast
Corporation Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.
“Additionally, we recently collaborated with the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to expand Internet Essentials to
HUD-assisted homes. This furthers our reach to senior citizens, as 34
percent of HUD-funded households have someone at least 62 years of age
residing with them. We look forward to bringing this essential
connection to even more people in California and across the country.”
“According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, nearly 60 percent of
Americans over 65 years of age were internet users,“ said Larry Magid,
President and CEO of ConnectSafely.org. “However, just as a travel guide
is important when planning a trip to a foreign country, seniors need a
guide to the online world, as the internet is like a foreign country to
many. This is why we are proud to release the free Online & Mobile
Safety Guide for Seniors today, thanks to the help of Comcast.”
Cohen made these announcements today alongside six-time Olympic Medalist
and Internet Essentials Spokesperson Jackie Joyner-Kersee, as part of a
multi-city back-to-school tour where the company will announce more than
$2 million in grants to community-based organizations that provide vital
digital literacy training and internet access.
In San Francisco, the organizations receiving grants include: Self Help
for the Elderly, Community Living Campaign, and Community Technology
Network, Bayview Senior Services, Chinatown Community Development
Center, Mission Housing Development Corporation, and Felton Institute –
Family Service Agency of San Francisco.
In Oakland, the organizations include: The Oakland Citizens Committee
for Urban Renewal (OCCUR), Oakland Private Industry Council, Spanish
Speaking Citizens Foundation, Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center
(ODALC), Qeyno Labs, and Oakland Technology Exchange West.
“Both in my athletic career and in the days since then, I’ve tried to
inspire young people to commit to hard work in both academics and
athletics,” said Joyner-Kersee. “While growing up playing sports, all I
ever wanted was a level playing field, a fair competition where those
who had put in the hard work had a chance to shine. I’m proud to
represent Internet Essentials because this program helps level the
playing field for all families by connecting them to the power of the
internet at home. Internet Essentials gives every child the chance to
develop their fullest potential and reach for their dreams, whatever
those dreams may be.”
Today’s announcements follow recent
news that Comcast has expanded the program’s eligibility to
households receiving HUD-housing assistance, including public housing,
Housing Choice Voucher, and Multifamily programs. In California there
are 190,000 HUD-assisted homes that stand to benefit from this
expansion. In total, there are up to 2 million HUD-assisted homes in
Comcast’s service area across the country, which, according to HUD,
accounts for approximately 40 percent of all HUD-assisted households.
This expansion of eligibility means even more individuals, including
seniors, veterans, and adults without children, can apply to the program.
Additionally, Comcast recently released a comprehensive Internet
Essentials Five Year Progress Report, which includes
significant new milestones highlighting the program’s impact on the
lives of its customers since its launch in 2011.
National Internet Essentials Investments
Since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $300 million in cash and
in-kind support to fund digital literacy initiatives nationally,
reaching nearly 4.4 million people through national and local
nonprofit community partners. Additional key program milestones and
facts through June 2016 include:
Dedicated more than $1.8 million in grants to create Internet
Essentials Learning Zones, where networks of nonprofit partners
are working together to enhance public Internet access and
increase family-focused digital literacy training in Atlanta,
Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, and Seattle, among others.
Broadcast 8.5 million public service announcements, valued at
nearly $110 million.
Provided more than 54,000 subsidized computers at less than $150
Distributed nearly 53 million pieces of Internet Essentials
program material for free.
Welcomed more than 6.4 million visitors to the Internet Essentials
English and Spanish websites, and its Online Learning Center.
Fielded more than 4.4 million phone calls to our Internet
Essentials call center.
Offered Internet Essentials to more than 55,000 schools in more
than 5,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of
Partnered with over 9,000 community-based organizations,
government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected
officials to spread the word.
- Dedicated more than $1.8 million in grants to create Internet
About Internet Essentials
Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most
comprehensive high-speed internet adoption program. 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 speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.
About Comcast Corporation
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. 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.