Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program Connects More Than 150,000 Low-Income Families – or 600,000 Americans – to the Internet

Tue Mar 5, 2013 11:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

New Enhancements for 2013 Include Expanding Eligibility to Parochial, Private
and Homeschool Students; a New Online Application Request Form; New Computer
Options and Ability for Non-Profits to Pre-Purchase Up To a Year of Service for
Eligible Families
WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)--
Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen today announced details about
the 2nd Annual Internet Essentials Progress Report, which features key
milestones for the program as well as a number of program enhancements and a new
award designed to honor top-performing school districts. Internet Essentials is
the nation`s largest, most comprehensive broadband adoption initiative designed
to help close the digital divide. 

"In just 16 months, Internet Essentials has helped put a real dent in the
digital divide and connected more than 150,000 low-income families, or 600,000
Americans, to the power of the Internet, most for the first time in their
lives," said Cohen. "To put that in perspective, that`s approximately the entire
population of Washington, D.C. or Boston. Internet Essentials is not just about
broadband adoption, however. It`s also about what the Internet can do for
families, from finding a job to completing homework to accessing vital
healthcare resources. While we`re pleased with our progress to date, we have
more work to do to bring more families into the digital age." 

"When it comes to education, the Internet has changed everything," said
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. "It gives kids the ability to do
research for their homework. It connects parents to their child`s school where
they can monitor grades and see their child`s development. It`s essential for
success in school and in our knowledge-based economy that all our children grow
up digitally literate and prepared to compete in the digital world." 

Additional key program milestones and facts through the end of 2012 include:

* Printed and shipped more than 25 million pieces of collateral material for
* Fielded more than one million phone calls in our dedicated Internet Essentials
call center. 
* Distributed more than 15,000 computers at less than $150 each. 
* Trained 10,000 people in-person about digital literacy and how to use the
* Received more than 800,000 visitors to the Internet Essentials and Internet
Basico websites. 
* Partnered with almost 7,000 community-based organizations; government agencies
and federal, state and local elected officials.

New in 2013:

Included in Comcast`s 2nd Annual Internet Essentials Progress Report are
highlights of the Company`s successes and achievements in the past year as well
as lessons learned and new enhancements, which include:

* Expanding eligibility criteria to include parochial, private and homeschool
students. This brings the estimated total number of eligible families to nearly
2.6 million. 
* Creating a convenient online application request formavailable through to improve and accelerate the application process. The
online form makes it easier and faster than ever before to register. This
spring, families will be able to use computers at community centers, local
libraries or from a friend to request an application online. 
* Introducing Opportunity Cardsthat enable non-profit organizations and others
to pre-purchase Internet Essentials service in advance, for up to one year, for
low-income families. This provides yet another way to accelerate enrollment by
empowering community-based partners, businesses and foundations to help connect
families to the Internet. 
* Expanding low-cost computer options by offering customers the ability to
purchase an Internet-ready desktop or laptop for less than $150, in addition to
the netbooks that Comcast already offers. This partnership with Arrow (formerly
Redemtech) was announced in the fall of 2012 and will be piloted in Philadelphia
and Chicago before rolling out to other markets. 
* Honoring the top 15 performing school districts with the Internet Essentials
Gold Medal School District of Excellence Award to recognize the success of
school districts nationwide and acknowledge their important role in helping to
close the digital divide. In conjunction with the celebration of Comcast`s 50th
anniversary later this year, each recognized district will be given 50 laptops
for families or schools. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2013.

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. 

Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program through the end of the
2013-2014 school year. These households will remain eligible as long as one
child eligible for a free or reduced lunch remains living in the household. 

For general information about Internet Essentials, visit for English, and visit for
Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can
find more information at Parents looking to
enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 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 for more information.

Comcast Corporation
Charlie Douglas, 215-264-8020
Meredith Wertz, 215-970-8504

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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