FOUR MILLION LOW-INCOME AMERICANS, INCLUDING NEARLY 4,000 LOW-INCOME SOUTHERN ARIZONANS, HAVE CROSSED THE DIGITAL DIVIDE THROUGH COMCAST’S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM
Company Again Increases Program’s Internet Speed, Offers Free Access to Millions of Xfinity WiFi Hotspots
Comcast Renames Six-Time Olympic Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee as National Spokesperson; Names Telemundo Host Adamari López as National Hispanic Spokesperson; and Kicks Off Multi-City Tour
Comcast Corporation announced that its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, has now connected more than four million low-income Americans, in one million households, to high-speed Internet service at home. In Tucson and surrounding areas, Comcast has connected 4,000 low-income Southern Arizonans, in 900 households to the power of the internet in their homes through Internet Essentials.
The company also announced other key program enhancements:
- For the fourth time in six years, Comcast will increase 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 will 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.
David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, made the announcements in Miami with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who will serve for the second year as Internet Essentials’ national spokesperson. Cohen also introduced Adamari López, host of Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día, who will become the program’s first ever national Hispanic spokesperson. The three kicked off a multi-city tour, which will run through October.
“Internet Essentials is making a real impact in the lives of our daily customers, I’m thrilled that almost 4,000 Arizonans have taken advantage of this program to date,” said Dee Knight, External Affairs Manager, Comcast. “It is through strategic partnerships with dozens of community-based organizations, school districts, and government agencies in Southern Arizona, we’ve made significant progress towards closing the digital divide.”
“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, 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.”
Joyner-Kersee added, “I remain so honored that Comcast asked me to serve as the national spokesperson for Internet Essentials. In my post-Olympic career, I’ve tried to inspire students and athletes to reach their dreams. They can’t do that, however, if they don’t work hard or have the tools they need to succeed. The Internet Essentials program gives every child access to a level playing field so we don’t leave an entire generation behind.”
López said, “I am thrilled to be joining the Internet Essentials program as the national Hispanic spokesperson. 55 percent of Internet Essentials customers are Hispanic, which shows how much they appreciate the value of the Internet because it is a connection to their families and their culture. They also value it because of what it means for education and employment opportunities. I look forward to helping to connect even more Spanish-speakers to the amazing resources this program offers.”
Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant 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 .
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.