It will be easier than ever for kids and parents to connect to news, resources, educational tools, and their friends and family networks as the 2017-2018 school year begins.
On August 15, Comcast announced that its Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans, has now connected more than four million low-income Americans, in one million households, to high-speed Internet service at home. In New Mexico, Comcast has connected 88,000 low-income New Mexicans, in 22,000 households to the power of the internet in their homes through Internet Essentials.
This year, Comcast is also introducing several enhancements to the Internet Essentials program. Comcast has increased the program’s Internet services speeds from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps, improving streaming quality in the home and allowing multiple devices to connect to fast Internet simultaneously. In addition, Internet Essentials customers can now enjoy 40 hours of free out-of-home WiFi access per month thanks to the company’s growing network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots, including nearly 150,000 in New Mexico.
Internet Essentials provides high-speed Internet service to qualifying low-income Americans for $9.95 a month plus tax, as well as 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. Families may qualify if they have at least one child who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program, or if they receive HUD housing assistance.
Low-income households are less likely to subscribe to broadband Internet service at home compared to higher income families, which has a negative impact on the scholastic achievement of children from low-income families. A lack of Internet service at home limits the job prospects for the entire household, and limits access to healthcare, news, information, and entertainment.
Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address this digital divide. And with this year’s improvements to the program, Comcast is excited to see more families accessing the resources and information they need.
“As Comcast continues to connect low-income New Mexico families to the power of the internet through Internet Essentials, I’m thrilled that 88,000 New Mexicans have taken advantage of this program to date,” said Chris Dunkeson, Area Vice President, Comcast. “By partnering with dozens of community-based organizations, school districts, and government agencies in New Mexico, we’ve made significant progress towards closing the digital divide.”