SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Mayor Ed Lee, Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy and Comcast Executive Vice President, David L. Cohen today announced 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 more than 400,000 Americans are now online and Comcast continues to enhance the program with new features and processes designed to accelerate enrollment in the program.
" San Francisco is the Innovation Capital of the World and we are making sure everyone in our City from our youth to our seniors are able to participate," said Mayor Ed Lee. "I'm proud of the progress we have made, but we still have more to do to bridge the digital divide."
David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President, added, "I'd like to congratulate Mayor Lee for committing to connect children and families to the internet at school and home to ensure their success in school and beyond. We thank Mayor Lee for being an ambassador of Internet Essentials to empower students and families with access to the endless resources the Internet has to offer."
New in 2012:
- Expanded eligibility criteria to include families with children eligible to receive reduced price school lunches under the National School Lunch Program. This means nearly 300,000 additional households are now eligible for the program, bringing the total to 2.3 million eligible families;
- Doubled broadband speeds to up to 3 Mbps downstream and up to 768 Kbps upstream;
- Upgraded the free Internet safety software to include the Constant Guard Protection Suite, which includes top-rated Norton Security Suite, identity theft protection and more;
- Enriched digital literacy training efforts both online and in-person, including offering a series of short videos, featuring NBC and Telemundo news personalities Al Roker, Kate Snow, Jenna Wolfe and Jose Diaz-Balart, discussing how to use job search tools and social networking site as well as tips for what parents should know about cyber bullying;
- Streamlined the approval process by providing an instant approval process for all students who attend schools with the highest percentage of NSLP participation, which includes Provision 2 schools;
- Introduced a bulk order program that empowers community-based organizations to purchase Internet Essentials accounts so they can connect the eligible families they serve.
- Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month plus applicable taxes;
- No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
- A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 plus tax; and
- Access to free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.
- Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
- Has at least one child who is eligible to receive a free or reduced school lunch under the NSLP;
- Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
- Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.