8:15 PM / Saturday September 23, 2023

12 Sep 2011

Comcast and Mayor Nutter unveil ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption program for Philadelphia

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September 12, 2011 Category: Education Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Brian Roberts, center, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation speaks to students from the KIPP Philadelphia Charter School during their
first day of school, Tuesday Sept. 6, 2011. The KIPP Philadelphia Charter School visit was part of Comcast’s launch of Internet Essentials, a program
which provides families in Philadelphia with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) with
low-cost Internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training.

(Comcast Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Comcast Corporation Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the launch of Internet Essentials, a program
which provides families in Philadelphia with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) with
low-cost Internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training.

The goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer. The program
addresses what research has identified as the three primary barriers to broadband adoption– 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant
and useful; 2) the cost of a home computer; and 3) the cost of Internet service.

“The launch of Internet Essentials across the United States and in Philadelphia is one of the most important community projects that I have ever been
involved with at Comcast,” said Mr. Roberts. “There is no doubt that the Internet is a great equalizer and life-changing technology and being connected
to the Internet is critically important to society, our youth and our future. This program can help low-income American families get online so they can
take advantage of all the Internet has to offer.”

“Digital literacy is a defining issue of our time,” said Mayor Nutter. “Internet and computer access contributes to the education, career progression
and innovation of Philadelphia’s citizens. I would like to thank Comcast for their dedication to narrowing the digital divide in our city. The Internet
Essentials program provides an invaluable service to the children and families who will benefit the most from affordable Internet access.”

According to David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President, “Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families
by connecting students online with their teachers and their schools’ educational resources. The program will enable parents to receive digital literacy
training so they can do things like apply for jobs online or use the Internet to learn more about healthcare and government services available where
they live.”

During an Internet Essentials launch event last week at the Salvation Army Kroc Community Center in Nicetown, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Cohen and Mayor Nutter
and were joined by School District of Philadelphia Acting Superintendent and Chief Executive Dr. Leroy David Nunery II, school officials, city leaders
and community organizations.

“Comcast’s effort to bridge the digital divide for Philadelphia students is extremely encouraging,” said Dr. Nunery. “Now more than ever, access to
assignments, grades and other classroom information is offered online and those who can tap into home computers and the Web are at a distinct
advantage. We thank Comcast for making a difference in many students’ lives.”

Service Details:

Internet Essentials participants will receive:

  • Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month + applicable taxes;
  • No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
  • A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 + tax; and
  • Access to free digital literacy training in print, online and in person.

Additional benefits include the Norton™ Security Suite ($160 value) for comprehensive online security protection at no additional cost.


A household is eligible to participate in the Internet Essentials program if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
  • Has at least one child who is eligible to receive a free school lunch under the NSLP;

(As an example, according to the Department of Agriculture, a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income);

  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Any household that
qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials provided a child eligible for a free lunch remains living in the

For general information about Internet Essentials, visit for English or for Spanish. Educators or
third parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at Parents looking to enroll in
the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.

In Philadelphia, Comcast also supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Honickman Learning Center and Police Athletic League and provides
courtesy Internet services to libraries and community centers throughout the city.

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