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Comcast Kicks Off Year Two Of The Groundbreaking Internet Essentials Broadband Adoption Program Designed To Help Close The Digital Divide In Washington State
Sep 08, 2012 (02:09 PM EDT)
More than 100,000 Families or 400,000 Low-Income Americans Have Signed Up Nationally;
Initiative Provides Internet Service, Affordable Computers and Digital Literacy Training to Families
BURIEN, Wash., Sept. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Comcast/NBC Universal President Kyle McSlarrow joined today with state, local and school district officials as well as special guest SpongeBob SquarePants at Seahurst Elementary School to announce year two of Internet Essentials, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption program designed to help close the digital divide for low-income Americans. In its first full year of availability, more than 100,000 families or 400,000 Americans are now online, including nearly 5,000 Washington families or almost 20,000 state residents. Comcast continues to enhance the program with new features and processes designed to accelerate enrollment in the program.
"Price can be a major barrier to engaging Washington's families in the state's growing digital economy. Programs like Comcast's Internet Essentials can make that first step possible, bringing broadband into the home," said Will Saunders, Broadband Policy and Programs Director, Washington State Dept. of Commerce.
Susan Enfield, Highline Schools Superintendent, said: "We are grateful that through this program more of our students and families will have access to the Internet. The web is an essential tool for learning and communicating in today's world. Internet access will help our students be successful in school and prepare them for college and the workplace."
Kyle McSlarrow, Comcast/NBC Universal President said, "I want to congratulate Mr. Saunders, Dr. Enfield and Burien Mayor Brian Bennett for helping to make Internet Essentials such a resounding success here in Washington State. We are proud to work with you to help lower the barriers to broadband access and make the endless resources of the Internet available to more families in Washington State."
All of the officials were at Seahurst Elementary to take part in a special Internet Essentials open house event to kick off the second year of the broadband adoption program. They joined with special guest SpongeBob SquarePants who was on hand to meet children from the Highline School District.
Comcast representatives as well as representatives from Goodwill and Neighborhood House, two of the company's many nonprofit partners, were on hand to meet with families and answer questions about their programs.
New in 2012:
Internet Essentials Program Details:
A household is eligible to participate if it meets all of the following criteria:
Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials if at least one child eligible for a free or reduced lunch remains living in the household.
In Washington, Comcast is working with a growing network of community-based organizations to spread the word about Internet Essentials and provide digital literacy training. Those organizations include El Centro de la Raza, Neighborhood House, New Futures and Tacoma Urban League among others.
For general information about Internet Essentials, please visit www.internetessentials.com for English and visit www.internetbasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at www.internetessentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.
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