Comcast's Internet Essentials program hits the 4 million mark - Technical.ly Philly

Access

Aug. 16, 2017 7:10 am

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program hits the 4 million mark

About 190,000 people in the greater Philly area have access to the $10/month internet program. Some 4 million have used it since 2011.
Comcast HQ.

Comcast HQ.

(Photo by Flickr user Ryan Hallock, used under a Creative Commons license)

Full disclosure: Comcast has sponsored several major Technical.ly initiatives.

It’s year six for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, and the numbers are in: 47,000 families or approximately 190,000 people in the Greater Philadelphia Area are now signed up for the $10-a-month broadband service.

In a call with media outlets on Monday, Comcast EVP David L. Cohen said the program had hit a landmark of connecting 4 million people to the internet thanks to the backing of 9,000 organizations, politicians and nonprofits.

Philly proper accounts for 31,000 families or 125,000 individuals who are part of the program, which was first launched in 2011 as part of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal.

“The secret sauce of the program is its wraparound design to address three barriers: digital literacy, access to equipment and affordable service,” said Cohen. “Since this launched in 2011 we’ve spent $350 million towards digital literacy initiatives and we’ve sold 65,000 subsidized computers.”

Comcast announced three expansions to the program:

  • For the fourth time since 2011, internet speeds were increased: from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps.
  • Subscribers will get access to 40 hours of free out-of-home WiFi through the company’s network of 18 million wifi spots.
  • Access to the program by low-income senior citizens will be expanded from five to 12 cities (to be announced). Philly was the first city to be included in that rollout.

Delis Serrano-Estrada, 37, was an early adopter of the program. In 2008, the single mom moved to Philly from Puerto Rico, her two-year-old son in tow. When the program rolled out in 2011 she was among the first to sign up.

“We didn’t have access to the internet back then, and I thought the program could help me find a job,” Serrano-Estrada told Technical.ly. “I was able to get a job and got into a special needs education program for my child because of the internet. We also use it to speak to my family in Puerto Rico.”

Advertisement

Fifty-five percent of the program’s subscribers are Hispanic. To better reach out to the Spanish-speaking community, Comcast named Telemundo host Adamari López the program’s first-ever national Hispanic spokesperson. López will join national spokesperson Jackie Joyner-Kersee — a six-time Olympic medalist and digital literacy activist — on a multi-city tour to stump for Internet Essentials.

“We’re thrilled to announce this expansion, but more work remains,” Cohen said. “Far too many families are on the wrong side of the divide, and connecting them remains part of our core mission.”

Companies: Comcast
-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Comcast expands its Internet Essentials program for people with disabilities

Comcast’s cheap internet program is now available for low-income vets

What happens if #NetNeutrality gets rolled back?

SPONSORED

Philly

7 biz resources we learned about at Super Meetup Philly 2019

601 Lee Road Chesterbrook PA 19087

Deacom

Corporate Recruiter

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Perpay

Senior Data Scientist

Apply Now

Horsham

Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co

Product Owner-Life Product Implementation & In-force Support

Apply Now

How those WiFi kiosks can help bridge Philly’s digital divide

What if you could check out mobile hotspots at the Free Library?

Wow: 80 city rec centers are finally getting internet access

SPONSORED

Philly

Paid family leave adds to the perks at Chariot Solutions

Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Application Support Specialist

Apply Now

Ambler, PA

IntegriChain

Data Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA

Perpay

Relationship Marketer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!