On May 16, David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer; New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas; and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced a new Internet Essentials partnership to educate seniors, parents, and children across New Mexico about some of the most serious challenges they may face online.
This innovative, multi-dimensional effort will combine public service announcements, free in-person training programs, and free educational resources including videos, brochures, and booklets that will also be made available online.
“As New Mexico’s chief law enforcement, I am urging New Mexicans to take advantage of these free resources to help protect themselves against online threats and scams,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “New Mexicans, especially our senior citizens, are far too often victims of financial scams so I am thankful to Comcast, the City of Albuquerque, Teeniors and Adelante for this partnership to protect New Mexico children and families.”
Comcast also announced it was providing grants to two nonprofits that specialize in Internet safety education and research including:
- Teeniors – A training organization that provides one-on-one coaching from tech-savvy teens and young adults to empower seniors, will provide specialized one-on-one coaching to seniors in and around the Albuquerque metro area as well as Santa Fe.
- Adelante – Through their expertise operating the senior meal program in Dona Ana County, Adelante will engage low-income seniors at the Mesilla Community Center, offering specialized online safety and cyber security training.
Nationally, Comcast also announced the launch of a comprehensive campaign between its Internet Essentials program and members of the Conference of Western Attorneys General to help address some of the most serious challenges seniors, parents, and children face online.
The action comes on the heels of a recent announcement from the Federal Trade Commission that estimated scammers extracted more than $1 billion from Americans last year alone. More than $240 million of that total occurred either online or via email. Seniors in particular are disproportionately affected because many lack the skills and understanding to protect themselves from online fraud.
“As a media and technology company, Comcast is uniquely positioned to contribute to this effort,” added Cohen. “We also know that one of the major reasons why low-income households, and especially seniors, don’t purchase internet service at home is because they’re afraid of it. They’re afraid of online scams and of being taken advantage of. Fortunately, as part of our Internet Essentials program, we have an outstanding network of nonprofit partners in whom we can invest to teach more seniors, adults, and students that the internet can be perfectly safe once you know how to use it and what to watch out for.”
This integrated approach is part of the core design of the Internet Essentials program to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption – digital literacy, access to computer equipment, and low-cost Internet service.
Since 2011, Internet Essentials, Comcast’s signature community impact program and the nation’s largest and most successful broadband adoption initiative for low-income families, has connected more than four million low-income Americans, living in more than one million households, to the Internet. The number includes 88,000 residents across the state of New Mexico, nearly 56,000 from the city of Albuquerque alone.