"We are proud of Internet Essentials and its demonstrated impact to help bridge the digital divide," said Rodrigo Lopez, Comcast's Regional Senior Vice-President for Oregon/SW Washington. "This program enables the jobless to seek employment, students the ability to get their homework done, and all participants to successfully engage in today's internet dependent world. It's a great equalizer."Comcast Oregon/SW Washington is also celebrating more than $3.5 million in financial charitable contributions and in-kind donations, as well as thousands of hours of service work by its almost 2,000 employees in the region. About Comcast: Comcast is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed internet and phone providers 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) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
The holidays are an opportunity to do more than reunite with family and friends. Many high school seniors will be using the holiday break to research and submit applications for colleges and scholarships. Parents will be looking for activities or daycare for children out of school. Seniors may be looking for information on their new Medicare plans. Some people may be looking for a job, or perhaps a better one. All of these efforts require something that not everyone has: access to the internet - and a computer. According to the American Community Survey, only 56% of households earning less than $35,000 a year have broadband service at home, compared to 92% of households earning more than $75,000 a year. This disparity, called the digital divide, has a negative impact on the scholastic achievement of children from low-income families; it limits the job prospects for and workforce readiness of the entire household. Comcast's Internet Essentials program provides an opportunity for low-income families who might otherwise struggle to afford internet access or own a computer. Nationwide, more than one million homes, or approximately four million Americans, have now connected to the internet through the program. "I wanted to pursue a real estate career and access to the internet was essential to achieving that dream. I needed to be able to get online and to study for my exam," said Tinisha of Portland, an Internet Essentials participant since 2015. "It also really helps my daughter. She's in high school and she uses it to get her homework assignments done." After a quick approval process, the program provides affordable internet access, as well as an option to purchase a low-cost laptop or desktop computer. Internet Essentials has already connected more than 29,000 households in Oregon/SW Washington. It's available to families of students participating in the National School Lunch Program, and recipients of HUD housing assistance.