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; the option to purchase an Internet ready computer for less than $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person. Qualified families include those with at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), including parochial, private, charter, cyber-school and home-schooled students. Program materials are available in 14 languages free of charge to schools and non-profit partners at InternetEssentials.com/Partner
In just two and a half years, we have connected more than 1.2 million Americans, or 300,000 low income families, to the power of the Internet at home. We have recently announced that we
extended Internet Essentials indefinitely – beyond our three-year commitment – and we look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of school, community and government partners, to bring Internet Essentials to many more low-income families in the communities we serve.
Since 2011, the program has reached a number of major milestones:
Other significant program enhancements include:
- Broadcasting more than 3.6 million public service announcements, valued at nearly $48 million.
- Providing more than 23,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each.
- Distributing more than 33 million Internet Essentials brochures at no cost.
- Welcoming more than 1.8 million visitors to the Internet Essentials websites in English and Spanish and the Online Learning Center.
- Fielding more than 1.9 million phone calls to our Internet Essentials call center.
- Offering Internet Essentials in more than 30,000 schools and 4,000 school districts, in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
- Investing more than $165 million in cash and in-kind support to help fund digital literacy initiatives nationally, reaching more than 1.6 million people through Comcast’s non-profit partners.
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.
- Comcast recently made grants totaling more than $1 million to 15 communities to create “Internet Essentials Learning Zones.” The grants are part of Comcast’s multifaceted Gold Medal Recognition Program for communities that have done the most to help close the digital divide. Learning Zones will bring together the non-profit community, schools and Comcast to create a continuum of connectivity during the day, after school and at home. As part of these efforts, Comcast offered an opportunity for all eligible families in these communities, as well as five additional “most improved” communities, to receive free Internet Essentials service for six months if they registered with the program during a three week period in March.
- Expanded the eligibility criteria for Internet Essentials twice, first by extending eligibility to families with children eligible to receive reduced price school lunches, and then by including parochial, private, cyber-school, and home-schooled students. As a result, nearly 2.6 million families nationwide are now eligible for Internet Essentials.
- Increased the broadband speeds for Internet Essentials customers twice in less than two years; Internet Essentials now offers up to 5 Mbps downstream, which is triple the speed offered at the beginning of the program.
- Expanded our instant approval process for families whose students attend schools with 70 percent or more National School Lunch Program participation (previously, the threshold was 80 percent), which enhanced participation rates.
- Creating an online application on both the English and Spanish-language Internet Essentials websites to make it easier and faster for a family to apply for Internet Essentials.