PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the new school year in full swing, Comcast is re-launching Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative for low-income families. Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane, NFL great Tony Dungy 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 more than 2,000 families in the Pittsburgh region and more than 11,000 in Pennsylvania.
"There's a deep digital divide in our country between the haves and the have-nots, and it's growing every day as computer technology and the Internet become ever more central in our lives," said Congressman Doyle. "This digital divide is just one more obstacle facing low-income households trying to get ahead – or even just get by. Today, Internet access and computer skills are essential for both school and the workplace. That's why I've been a strong supporter of programs to help provide universal access to computers, broadband, and the skills needed to use them – programs like Internet Essentials."
Today at Pittsburgh Langley K-8, hundreds of students and teachers attended a Pep Rally themed "closing the digital divide" with special guests Congressman Doyle, Mayor Ravenstahl, Cohen and Dungy. Dungy, the Super Bowl-winning former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and a former Pittsburgh Steeler player and coach, leads the Dungy Family Foundation in Tampa, Fla., which strengthens, sustains and empowers communities by providing opportunities to those in need, opportunities like the ones provided through Internet Essentials.
"Internet Essentials can have a game-changing impact on education and the lives of young people," said Dungy. "It really levels the playing field for those that might not have the opportunities they deserve just because they never had access to the tools and resources that drive success in today's technologically advanced world."