Comcast To Invest $280,000 In Grants And In-Kind Support In Denver, Aurora, And Commerce City To Enhance Digital Learning; Company Also Extends Its National Broadband Adoption Program For Low-Income Families

Comcast announced today it is providing $280,000 in grants and in-kind support to non-profit community organizations in Denver, Aurora, and Commerce City to create “Internet Essentials Learning Zones” within these communities.

Honoring the efforts of its community partners, Comcast has established a Gold Medal Recognition Program in which it is making more than $1 million in grants to dozens of non-profit partners in communities across the country that have led the way in connecting families to home broadband through Internet Essentials. Partners in three Colorado communities are among those to receive support, totaling $280,000 in grants and in-kind contributions:
  • Denver - Mile High United Way
  • Aurora - Aurora Public Library and KidsTek
  • Commerce City - Boys & Girls Clubs and KidsTek

Also, Internet Essentials-eligible families in Denver, Aurora, and Commerce City who are not currently customers can receive six months of complimentary Internet service if they apply and are approved for the program by March 18th, 2014. The families simply need to call 1-855-846-8376 or visit www.InternetEssentials.com. For Spanish, they may call 1-855-765-6995 or visit www.InternetBasico.com.

The grants in Colorado will enable these communities to create a continuum of connectivity— or “ Internet Essentials Learning Zones” — that begin in the classroom with wired schools, follow the students to wired libraries, wired computer centers, and wired after-school programs, and end in wired homes when the day is done.

Additionally, Comcast also announced it has extended Internet Essentials indefinitely – beyond its initial three-year commitment. In just two and a half years, the initiative has connected more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families, to the power of broadband Internet. This includes more than 14,000 families across Colorado.

“Comcast’s generous support will provide critical access to technology and training to the community, a key component to advancing digital literacy skills of the Metro Denver workforce,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way. “The computer center will be equipped with state-of-the -art technology available for nonprofits, community partners, and members of the community to use free of charge. We are honored to partner with Comcast to create opportunities to increase broadband adoption and create positive community impact.”

Announced in May 2011, Internet Essentials is designed to meet the needs of a specific population – low-income families with school-age children who are not currently connected to broadband Internet at home. However, no single program will completely close the digital divide.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Comcast to add extended hours at our new computer center and add more library computers for the growing number of customers,” said Patti Bateman, Director of Library & Cultural Services for the City of Aurora. “Today, applying for jobs of any type requires the submission of an online application, as well as researching and applying for benefits, grants, homework, online testing, and an increasing number of tasks only available with access to the Internet. Part of any public library's mission is to connect people with access to information. The Comcast grant will make it possible for the Aurora Library to expand this critical service for citizens.”

“Our organization is committed to ensuring that our Club members graduate from high school prepared for college and careers. We know that access to state of the art technology and STEM education is a key strategy for ensuring that youth are equipped with the 21st century skills they will need for academic and career success,” said Tina Martinez, Vice President of Program Services for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. “Our ability to deliver quality, impactful programming is dependent on the support we receive from community-focused organizations like Comcast.”

“For a student growing up in a home without access to the Internet or a computer, the doors to limitless possibilities are closed,” said Richard Liner, Executive Director of KidsTek. “With help from partners like Comcast, KidsTek removes those barriers by providing hands-on technology education for Colorado's underserved youth. Comcast’s support enables us to reach even more students in Aurora, where we already offer several programs, and to reach students in Commerce City for the first time. We are deeply grateful for Comcast’s help in opening worlds of possibility for more students in our community.”

About Internet Essentials:

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person. Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, and homeschool students. We estimate a total of approximately 2.6 million eligible families live in our service area and therefore could apply for Internet Essentials.

For more information or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376, or, for Spanish, visit www.InternetBasico.com or call 1-855-765-6995.

About Comcast Cable:

Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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