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. Comcast Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations Filemon Lopez, 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 11,000 families in the Greater Houston area.
Students from Energized for STEM Academy participate in a digital literacy workshop during the Internet Essentials year three kick-off event. (Photo: Business Wire)
Today’s event in Houston is one 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.
“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 Lopez. “Together, with cities like Houston, we are making real and significant progress in closing the digital divide in America.”
In Houston today, Comcast hosted an event at Energized for STEM Academy to create further awareness of Internet Essentials and educate and engage civic and community leaders around the issue of digital adoption and literacy. More than 400 students participated in digital literacy training workshops that included Internet Safety and Effective Use of Social Media. Comcast also announced a partnership to open four new computer labs for students at the southeast and southwest campuses of Energized for STEM Academy.“I’m proud to stand here today and say the City of Houston is helping the nation close the digital divide,” said Ralph Martinez, Senior Vice President for Comcast in Houston. “But we still have work to do. There are still too many low-income families in Houston who can benefit from getting online at home. So, I’m urging parents, educators, community leaders and other government officials to press on with this effort, spread the word and help increase broadband adoption.”