With the start of the new school year, Comcast is re-launching Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Miami Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade League of Cities President and Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn, and Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen, along with civic and community leaders, today kicked off the program’s third year and announced that, in about 22 months, more than 220,000 families, benefitting an estimated 900,000 low-income Americans nationwide, now have a broadband connection at home. This includes nearly 18,700 families in the South Florida area, and nearly 30,000 in the state of Florida.
Today’s event in Miami is one of the first in a series of back to school events Comcast is hosting in 23 states across the country to raise visibility about bridging the digital divide in America and connecting more families to the Internet.
“For school students today, digital literacy is no longer an option, it is a necessity,” said Carvalho. “Our curriculum and informational systems are all rapidly moving to the digital world, which means getting students connected to the Internet becomes a more critical task.”
“Thanks to community leaders and schools nationwide, more than 220,000 families or 900,000 low-income Americans 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 completing homework, applying for a job, researching a health condition, or paying a bill,” said Cohen. “Together, with cities like Miami, we are making real and significant progress in closing the digital divide in America.”The momentum of Internet Essentials continues to increase. Since the program’s launch in August 2011, Internet Essentials has enrolled upwards of 50,000 new families every six months. In the last six months alone, 70,000 new families have signed up. In addition, Comcast has distributed more than 18,000 subsidized computers; trained nearly 20,000 people; publicized the program in more than 4,000 school districts and more than 30,000 schools; broadcast nearly 2 million public service announcements and partnered with nearly 7,000 community based organizations, agencies, and officials to help spread the word about the program.
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