For most Utahns, using the Internet is a routine activity that’s often taken for
granted. Whether it’s for work, to research school assignments, read the
latest news, access healthcare information, or for entertainment, going online
is part of the day to day. But many low-income families are still at a
disadvantage because they don’t have a PC or Internet service at home. To
help close this digital divide, Comcast is offering a new program called
Ray Child from Comcast talks about the Internet Essentials program
available through Comcast.
Research by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of
National Telecommunications and Information Administration has shown that
more than 33%
of American homes are not connected to the Internet. A closer look at the
data reveals a disproportionately large number of those households are low-
To help close this digital divide, Comcast is offering a new program called
Internet Essentials. Experts have identified three primary barriers to
broadband adoption: a lack of understanding of how the Internet is
relevantand useful to one’s daily life, the cost of a home computer and the
cost of Internet service. InternetEssentials is an ambitious and comprehensive
broadband adoption program designed toaddress these barriers head on.
The program will provide low income families, those with children eligible to
receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), with
low cost Internet access, a voucher to buy a low-cost computer and digital
literacy training in print, online and in-person. Beginning in the 2011-2012
school year, the program will be rolled out in more than 4,000 school
districts in 39 states as well as Washington, D.C.
Comcast’s goal is to help try to close the digital divide and help level the
playing field for low income families by connecting students online with their
teachers and their school’s educational resources, by enabling parents to
apply for jobs online or for families to use the Internet to learn more about
healthcare and government services available where they live. However, in
order for a program like this to be successful and make a difference for many
families, it requires support.
Comcast is asking for help from parents, educators, community leaders and
government officials to join in this effort, so that those who are eligible can
get connected to the Internet, get a computer and receive training.
For general information about Internet Essentials, visit: www.internetessentials.com
(for English) or visit www.internetbasico.com (for
Spanish). Educators and third-parties interested in more information should
Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for