Comcast Joins Richton Park and VFW Officials to Announce Initiative to Close Digital Divide among Veterans

Company’s Internet Essentials program eligibility expands to low-income veterans, including nearly million nationally and more than 130,000 in Illinois

August 30, 2018 — Area Comcast leaders joined Richton Park, IL, and Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) officials today at local VFW Post 311 Benjamin O. Davis to announce that the company is expanding the eligibility of its Internet Essentials program to low-income veterans, including around one million veterans nationwide – more than 130,000 in Illinois alone.

Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans.  It provides low-cost high-speed residential Internet 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.

Recently, Comcast announced it has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet Essentials program.  This number includes more than 650,000 across Illinois, which is ranked second in the nation in terms of overall participation.  In the last year alone, the company connected more than two million people to the program nationally, which was the largest annual increase in its seven-year history.

“Internet Essentials has had an enormous impact on the hundreds of thousands of Illinois children, families and community college students already participating in the program,” said John Crowley, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region Senior Vice President.  “We’re excited to extend this same opportunity to literally thousands of low-income veterans in Illinois.”

According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2016 survey, less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access, and only about 60 percent own a computer.

“Veterans have put their lives on the line for our country,” Crowley said.  “It’s time for us to stand with them by providing access to critical digital tools and resources.”

Comcast donates Internet service and computers to VFW 311

To ensure that veterans have Internet access at home via Internet Essentials and when they’re visiting VFW 311 as well, Comcast also announced that it plans to donate 12 months of high-speed Internet service and four computers to the facility.


“Richton Park appreciates Comcast’s commitment to helping low-income families – and now low-income veterans as well – gain access to high-speed Internet service at home,” said Richton Park Village President Richard Reinbold.  “This donation adds to Internet Essentials’ impact by giving veterans access to the Internet – and digital skill building training – right here at the VFW.”

VFW 311 Post Commander and Cook County Department of Veteran Affairs Director Bill Browne added, “Expanding the program and providing Internet service and computers at VFW 311 will help veterans in so many ways: They’ll be able to communicate more easily with their families. They’ll be able to more easily access important resources and information online.  And they’ll be able to develop their technical and professional skills.”

For more information about Internet Essentials or to apply for the program, visit or call 1-855-846-8376.  Spanish-only speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.

About VFW 311

The VFW is a nonprofit veterans’ service organization for eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces.  The VFW’s mission is to foster camaraderie among U.S. veterans of overseas conflicts; to serve veterans, the military and related communities; and to advocate on behalf of veterans.

VFW Post 311 Benjamin O. Davis was named after the first African-American general in the U.S. Army, General Benjamin O. Davis.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.  Comcast Cable 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.  It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand.  NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Visit for more information.

With around 6,500 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region serves customers in Central and Northern Illinois, Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting @Comcast. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastILLINOIS.

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