55 per cent of program beneficiaries are Hispanic
Comcast announced it has now connected more than six million low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet Essentials program, which is the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income families in the U.S. The company connected more than two million people in the last year alone, which is the largest annual increase in the program’s history. The company also announced it will significantly expand eligibility to low-income veterans, nearly one million of whom live within the Comcast footprint. According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, less than 70 percent of low-income veterans have Internet access, and about 60 percent own a computer.
“This program has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children who now have high-speed Internet at home, many for the first time in their lives,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to more than one million, low-income veterans. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”
Hispanic households demonstrate one of the lowest internet usage rates of any minority group. According to the U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey, 86 percent of white households use high-speed internet at home compared to 81 percent of their Latino counterparts.
The digital divide amongst Hispanics is also reflected through the youth’s academic performance. 50 per cent of students reported an inability to complete certain schoolwork due to a lack of internet access at home, according to the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. 42 per cent have also said that their grades have been affected due to the same inaccessibility.
Internet Essentials has benefited the Hispanic community in the US tremendously as 55 per cent of the total amount of people benefited belong to this minority group. Moreover, 9 out of 10 Latino families indicate to be highly satisfied with the subsidized service.
Also according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 81 percent of all U.S. households subscribe to broadband at home, but only 63 percent of households with an annual income of less than $35,000 do. To attack that problem, Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design meant to address each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, the lack of a computer, and the absence of a low-cost Internet service. The program is also structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.
The move to extend Internet Essentials eligibility to low-income veterans is the second largest expansion in the program’s history. For details on how to apply, please visit: www.internetessentials.com/apply.
About Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. It provides low-cost, high-speed Internet 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. For more information, or to apply for the program, go to www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can call 1-855-765-6995.