Enrollment in Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program in Chicago Metro Area Reaches 33,000 Households – More than any other Metro Area

Comcast announces it will extend Internet Essentials program enrollment; Chicago, Cicero-Berwyn receive “Gold Medal Recognition” from Comcast for numbers of families enrolled in program; Two new “Internet Essentials Learning Zones” to bring community partners together to address digital divide…

Comcast announced today in Chicago that enrollment in its Internet Essentials program in the Chicago Metropolitan Area increased this year to more than 33,000 households.  Continuing the trend, more families are enrolled in the Chicago area than in any other metropolitan area in the nation.  At the same time, Comcast announced today in Washington, D.C., that nationwide enrollment has increased to 300,000 households.

“In just two and a half years, this groundbreaking initiative has connected more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families, to broadband Internet,” said Cohen. “However, to truly close the digital divide and help support President Obama’s call to action toward realizing his ConnectED educational goals, we must work together to create a whole continuum of connectivity that begins online in the classroom, extends to libraries, computer labs and after-school programs, and then ends in the home.”

Comcast extends Internet Essentials program indefinitely

Internet Essentials helps close the digital divide by providing eligible families low-cost broadband service at home for about $10 a month.  Families also can purchase an Internet-ready computer through the program for about $150, as well as access digital literacy training sessions and materials online, in print and in person.  Comcast announced today that it will extend enrollment in the program indefinitely.

Internet Essentials year three milestones

Comcast names two “Gold Medal” communities in Illinois, announces additional “Internet Essentials Learning Zones”

This year, Comcast established a “Gold Medal Recognition Program” to recognize communities with large numbers of families participating in Internet Essentials and announced that the City of Chicago and Cicero-Berwyn are “Gold Medal” communities.  Comcast has committed to providing $125,000 in support to community-based organizations in the two local Gold Medal communities for activities designed to increase broadband adoption.  To this end, Comcast is creating “Internet Essentials Learning Zones” spanning Chicago’s Edgewater, East/West Rogers Park and Uptown neighborhoods and another in suburban Cicero-Berwyn that will feature:

  • Enhanced public Internet access via indoor WiFi service at community-based organizations, including:
    • Chicago: Centro Romero and JVS Chicago; and
    • Cicero-Berwyn: Boys Club of Cicero; The Children’s Center of Cicero-Berwyn; Corazon Community Services and Youth Crossroads.
  • Digital literacy training programs in community settings designed to educate parents and children on how to use the Internet effectively and safely, and parents on how to monitor their children’s online activity and school work; and
  • Events designed to inform parents about Internet Essentials and how they can enroll.

“The zones extend learning opportunities beyond school walls by giving students access to computers and the Internet at community- and faith-based organizations many of them already visit for after-school and other programs,” said Matthew Summy, regional vice president of External and Government Affairs.

In 2013, Comcast established a learning zone spanning in Chicago’s Bronzeville, Englewood/West Englewood and North Lawndale neighborhoods.

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. A household is eligible to participate if it has at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), is located where Comcast offers Internet service, has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days, and does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment. Families that enroll in the program can continue to enjoy the service as long as one child eligible to participate in the NSLP is living in the household.

For more information about Internet Essentials visit InternetEssentials.com for English and InternetBasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at InternetEssentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.

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