SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the start of the new school year comes year three of Comcast's Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Jerry McNerney, Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen, and civic and community leaders today announced that as of June 2013, nearly 25,750 families in California, including more than 5,150 families in the Sacramento metro area, have signed up for Internet Essentials. Nationwide, more than 150,000 families have enrolled in the program, benefitting an estimated 600,000 low-income Americans, as of January 2013.
"Thanks to community leaders and schools nationwide, more than 150,000 families now have the opportunity to use the power of the Internet at home to get ahead in work, education, and life, just by doing things online that many of us take for granted, such as applying for a job, researching a health condition, paying a bill or completing homework," said Cohen. "Together, with cities like Sacramento, we are making real and significant progress in closing the digital divide in America. We know there is still a long road ahead, but we remain committed to connecting even more families to the Internet especially during this critical back to school season."
At the Sacramento Convention Center today, Comcast hosted a Youth Tech Summit and Expo to create further awareness of Internet Essentials and educate and engage civic and community leaders around the issue of digital adoption and literacy. The event also included panel discussions about cyber-bulling and creating 21 st Century learning communities.
In addition, Comcast's California Region also announced a promotion for children to create a video explaining, "Why the Internet is Essential." Students in Comcast's California service area from elementary school to high school are invited to enter by submitting a 60-second video sharing why broadband access is crucial to them. A selection committee comprised of leaders from non-profit, education, government and business communities will review the entries and select winners. Four runner-up students will each receive netbook computers; and the grand prize winner will receive a netbook computer and a $1,000 gift card, plus 15 Opportunity Cards that can be used to pay for Internet Essentials service and 15 netbook computers for the eligible non-profit community-based organization of their choice. For more information, students can visit: http://comcastcalifornia.mediaroom.com/"The Comcast Youth Tech Summit and Expo is important for connecting youth, their families, and the community with the information and resources needed to stay linked in today's digital economy," said Matsui. "Events like today's summit help draw attention to some of the most critical issues families face with technology including affordability, safety, and accessibility. Whether it is for homework, finding a job, or creating that next big idea, Internet access has become a necessity, not a luxury."