WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen was joined today by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel; Alma J. Powell, chair of America's Promise Alliance and honorary chair of DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI); Ayris T. Scales, executive director of DCPNI; and other civic and community leaders to kick off year three of Internet Essentials during a special event at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Comcast's Internet Essentials program is the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. In the first 22 months of the program, Internet Essentials has connected more than 220,000 families (or nearly 900,000 Americans) nationwide - including more than 5,000 families (or more than 20,000 residents) in the Washington, D.C. market - to broadband service at home.
"Compared to a year ago we have more than doubled the number of families here in the D.C. area who are now able to complete school assignments, access government resources, apply for jobs and scholarships and pay bills at home," said Cohen. "With the unwavering support of schools, community organizations, legislators and other partners in Washington, D.C. and nationwide, our Internet Essentials program has been making demonstrable progress in closing the digital divide."
"Broadband is fast becoming an essential part of our commercial and civic life," said Rosenworcel. "That is why the work of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and Comcast's Internet Essentials program is so important. By helping students and their families get online, they enhance opportunity, strengthen communities, and help kids in school develop the skills necessary for the digital age."
In addition to re-launching Internet Essentials in the Washington, D.C. area, Comcast and DCPNI announced a partnership to help increase digital literacy and connect more families to the Internet in the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood in the Northeast section of the District. As part of the partnership, 300 families with children who attend Neval Thomas Elementary School, the Parkside Campus of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy and Educare of Washington, D.C. will receive a free computer upon enrollment in the Internet Essentials program. In addition, Comcast will sponsor five Internet Essentials digital literacy training courses offered by DCPNI that will focus on Internet basics, finding and applying for jobs and online safety."The partnership between Comcast and the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative does more than create greater learning opportunities for the children and families of Kenilworth-Parkside, it serves as a model for the rest of the nation about the role and impact the business community can have," said Powell. "It is initiatives like this, and through the collaboration of nonprofit organizations, educators, community and civic leaders, businesses and families, that we can make real and significant progress in this work to help more children succeed."