Internet Essentials targets ow-income families with a child eligible enrolled in the national School Lunch Program
Internet service provider Comcast has launched Internet Essentials, which the company says is the country’s most comprehensive and ambitious broadband adoption program.
Internet Essentials provides low-cost Internet service, a voucher to purchase a low-cost computer, and a suite of free digital literacy training programs to low-income families with at least one child who is eligible to receive a free lunch as part of their enrollment in the National School Lunch Program.
Comcast said that Internet Essentials addresses all three of the primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified: a collection of digital literacy issues; the cost of a home computer; and the cost of Internet service.
The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration have reported that more than 33% of American homes are still not connected to the Internet.
The company said the Internet is a transformative technology, with the potential to be a great equalizer and life-changer.
Comcast added, "It [Internet] enables children to connect to their school’s educational resources, adults to search for and apply to jobs online, and families to access important information about healthcare and government services.
"The cruel irony is that, because of the digital divide, the equalizing potential of the Internet is instead exacerbating differentials. We hope Internet Essentials will be a big step forward to helping these low-income families take advantage of all the Internet has to offer."
Comcast plans to roll out the program to more than 4,000 school districts in 39 states plus the District of Columbia.