Building Digital Equity: Internet Essentials powers efforts to connect low-income students and households during the Pandemic

Three students gather around a laptop to study together

The Internet has been one of THE heroes of the pandemic era, allowing tens of millions of people to work from home, enabling millions of students to participate in remote learning and helping families live their lives. Thank you to all Comcast employees for their tireless commitment to supporting our communities and delivering our Internet service. Their work has changed lives.

Low-income households have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. For many of them, access to the Internet has been even more critical. Comcast recognized the digital divide years ago – well before COVID – and built a platform designed to connect low-income households, called “Internet Essentials.” Millions of people have been able to connect to the Internet at home since the program was launched in 2011.

During the COVID era, countless school districts and community-based organizations have tapped Internet Essentials to connect their students and their communities to the Internet. In this region alone, more than 60 districts have participated in our Internet Essentials Partnership Program, allowing them to provide Internet service in bulk to students in literally thousands of households. Comcast is proud to participate in Chicago Connected, Chicago Public Schools’ program to connect low-income students to the Internet at home, and connect thousands of students in neighborhoods across the city.

Comcast also created WiFi-enabled Lift Zones in community-based organizations in several city neighborhoods, where students can participate in remote learning and adults can build technology and job skills.

The video above tells the story of Internet Essentials’ role in building digital equity over the years and its role in Chicago Connected and programs like it locally and nationally.

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