Program has Connected more than Six Million Low-Income Americans to the Internet at Home – more than 650,000 in Illinois alone
September 17, 2018 — Comcast announced that it has connected 650,000 Illinois residents to the Internet at home through its Internet Essentials program, the largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income families in the U.S. The company also announced plans to expand eligibility for the program, which started in 2011, to more than 130,000 low-income veterans in Illinois and one million nationally.
Internet Essentials 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. To attack the digital divide, Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, the lack of a computer and the absence of a low-cost Internet service.
According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 81 percent of all U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, but only 63 percent of households with annual incomes of less than $35,000 do. The survey also found that less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access and only about 60 percent own a computer.
“Internet Essentials has had an enormous impact on thousands and thousands of Illinois families and children who now have high-speed Internet service at home, most for the first time in their lives,” said John Crowley, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region Senior Vice President. “We’re proud to extend that same opportunity to low-income veterans. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”
“The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Peoria (BGCGP) appreciates Comcast’s commitment to bringing Internet service into more low-income Central Illinois homes,” said Lesley Matuszak, BGCGP CEO.
“This investment will help eligible veterans communicate with their families and friends, access important online resources and help them develop the skills they need to be successful in today’s workforce,” added Archie Ford, Outreach Specialist for Supportive Services for Veteran Families in Springfield.
For more information or to apply for the program, visit https://comca.st/2OAUr9y or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can call 1-855-765-6995.
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 https://comca.st/2OD9tLC 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.