Thursday, September 19, 2019

Comcast #InternetEssentials in Action

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Comcast; all opinions expressed are my own.

With the back-to-school season underway, it’s easy to take for granted how widespread internet access appears to be, but with the recent expansion of Comcast’s Internet Essentials initiative I’ve learned that the digital divide is very real. Comcast is doubling the number of eligible households to now include Federal benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP and SSI for Internet Essentials in its national footprint to help close the gap of 25% of U.S. households currently without home internet service. And, in case you haven’t heard of it before, Internet Essentials provides free digital literacy training, Internet service for $9.95 per month and the opportunity to buy a laptop for less than $150.

As a blogger, I know firsthand how the power of the internet builds connections, fosters relationships and helps with employment opportunities. The internet deserves to be as accessible as simply turning on your lights.

I recently attended one of Comcast’s local events at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester highlighting the Internet Essentials expansion. It was especially moving to have broadcaster and local-Dorchester native Latoyia Edwards on hand to share her own experience growing up in the community. Attendees learned how they could access the program and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation announced a series of grants in partnership with Dell Technologies to upgrade the site’s computer lab with new equipment. Comcast also provided 100 free laptops and six months of complimentary Internet service to residents.

To apply for Internet Essentials, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more than a dozen different government assistance programs. A full list can be found at Cohen emphasized that Comcast is committed to overcoming major barriers to equitable internet access including a lack of digital literacy skills, lack of awareness of the relevance of the Internet to everyday life needs, and fear of the Internet; the lack of a computer; and cost of internet service.

With both of my children in Boston Public Schools I’ve also witnessed how Comcast supports closing the technology gap through their support of Tech Goes Home which they also recently announced a grant for. Through the program my daughter and son have received a steeply discounted Chromebook and iPad pre-loaded with educational apps as well as a series of education classes for both parent and student.

As a long-time Comcast customer from my time as a recent college graduate until now as a mom, I’m glad to see how they are involved in the local Boston community and appreciate their commitment to giving back.

To learn more about Internet Essentials or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can also call 1-855-765-6995.