On the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, Comcast announces it has connected more than 10 million people to the Internet over the past ten years. Of that number, more than 272,000 are in Comcast’s Twin Cities service area. In addition, the company is pledging to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income Americans the tools and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Internet Essentials offers internet access for low-income families and individuals for $9.95 per month, along with digital literacy training programs and access to low-cost computers.
“Ten years is a remarkable milestone and a testament to the extraordinary work and collaboration with our incredible community partners,” said J.D. Keller, senior regional vice president, Comcast, Twin Cities Region. “Together, we have been able to connect hundreds of thousands of our neighbors to the power of the Internet at home, and to its endless opportunities for education, growth and discovery.”
Keller added, “With this announcement, we are rededicating ourselves to this mission to ensure that the next generation of students in the Twin Cities and across America has the tools, resources, and abilities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.”
“Internet Essentials has been extremely beneficial to our families,” said Tony Sanneh, founder and CEO, The Sanneh Foundation. “The need for connectivity has never been greater, and I commend Comcast for the positive impact they’ve made in the Twin Cities community with Internet Essentials and through our partnership with Lift Zones.”
Comcast’s $1 billion commitment will include investments in a number of critical areas, including:
- Additional support for its ongoing Lift Zones initiative, which establishes WiFi-connected safe spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021. Twin Cities partners to date include The Sanneh Foundation at Conway Community Center in St. Paul; Phyllis Wheatley Community Center in Minneapolis; Perspectives Family Center in St. Louis Park, and dozens more with additional sites to be announced by late spring.
- New laptop and computer donations, plus grants for nonprofit community organizations to create opportunities for low-income Americans, particularly in media, technology, and entrepreneurship.
- Continued investment in the company’s landmark Internet Essentials program.
It is estimated these new commitments will impact as many as 50 million Americans over the next 10 years. In 2021 alone, Comcast estimates students will be able to complete more than 25 million hours of remote learning lessons to further address the “homework gap” at the hundreds of Lift Zone locations that have already opened or will open soon.
Other facts of note:
- Comcast has increased Internet Essentials speeds six times, from 1.5 Mbps in 2011 to 50 Mbps today, without ever increasing the price of the program, which remains at $9.95/month.
- Developed an Internet Essentials Partnership Program that has signed up hundreds of schools, school districts, and other organizations that have come together to help connect tens of thousands of students to the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Offered 60 days of free Internet service to any new Internet Essentials customer who needed to get online during the coronavirus outbreak.
For more information about Internet Essentials and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. To apply, visit www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.