We, at Dungy Family Foundation, are excited to begin year two of our partnership with Comcast’s Internet Essentials! We are helping to kick off year three of the program, which is helping to connect low-income families to the power of the Internet at home. Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides eligible families low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; 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.
As Comcast’s Internet Essentials embarks on year three, it is making real and significant progress in helping to close the digital divide in America. In about 22 months, more than 220,000 families have enrolled nationwide. This means they are connecting approximately 900,000 low-income Americans now have access to broadband Internet in their homes, most for the very first time. Comcast attributes this success to the strong support from and collaboration with thousands of community partners. This is why we are very excited to partner with Comcast and play a role in spreading the word about this charitable program.
To increase enrollment and continue to help close the digital divide in America, Comcast continues to enhance Internet Essentials. This year they have increased the broadband speeds, streamlined enrollment, expanded eligibility, created an online application tool, and introduced Internet Essentials Opportunity Cards. The Opportunity Cards give Comcast community partners the opportunity to help connect eligible low-income families to the Internet; they can be purchased in advance and used toward the cost of paying for Internet Essentials service.
As you can see, there are many reasons why we are so excited to begin this partnership! Here is a brief preview from a recent interview with Coach Dungy and Comcast:
Q: Coach Dungy, tell us about the Internet Essentials program and why you’ve gotten involved?
A: Internet Essentials is an incredible initiative launched three years ago by Comcast to help make a difference for America’s low-income families. It’s a program that can have a game-changing impact on education and the lives of young people. It really levels the playing field for those that might not have the opportunities they deserve just because they never had access to the tools and resources that drive success in today’s technologically advanced world.
Q: How do the goals of Internet Essentials intersect with the work of the Dungy Family Foundation?
A: The Dungy Family Foundation’s mission is to strengthen, sustain and empower communities by providing opportunities to those in need, especially in the realm of education. For instance, we recently launched a reading program because we believe that good reading skills are crucial to success in life and must be stimulated at an early age. Internet Essentials fits perfectly with the values of the Foundation because it has the ability to strengthen, sustain and empower those who need it most through affordable access to the Internet, low-cost computers and digital literacy training.
Q: What does being involved in a program like this mean to you?
A: Last year I met numerous families who told me how Internet Essentials changed the entire educational landscape for their children at home. The program made it so that their kids could advance their learning by studying online, submitting homework assignments online, staying connected to family online, and in a few instances allowed first generation family members to apply for and go through the acceptance process for college entirely online. For a family that cannot currently afford broadband Internet at-home, Internet Essentials can mean a much, much brighter future. I can’t wait to be a part of year three of this program and meet more families that are creating success stories for themselves as a result of Internet Essentials. Along with our Foundation, I’ll be participating in several back to school events this year, with the first in Philadelphia on September 30.
Q: Why is bridging the digital divide in America so critical?
A: Technology has changed not just how classrooms work, but how the whole world works. Whether searching for a job, applying for colleges, researching healthcare information, finding financial resources, or staying connected to family or friends, it’s a must. Access to the Internet is a game-changer in nearly every aspect of life, and I believe we must all do our part to ensure every student has this access. Comcast has stepped up and I am proud to stand with them in doing so.
For more information, to find out about eligibility for the Internet Essentials program, or to apply for the program visit InternetEssentials.com or InternetBasico.com, or call1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.