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Comcast Company Increases Internet Speed, Offers Free Access to Millions of Xfinity WiFi Hotspots, Expands Low-Income Senior Citizen Pilot Program
Updated August 16, 2017 6:56 AM
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(UNDATED) - Comcast announced that its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, the nation's largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program, has connected more than four million low-income Americans, about one million households, to high-speed Internet service at home.

The company also announced three key program enhancements:

  • For the fourth time in six years, Comcast will increase the program's Internet service speeds, this time from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps. Doing so will enable more family members to connect more devices to the Internet so they can all be online simultaneously.
  • To help family members connect to the Internet on the go and save money on their wireless bills, Internet Essentials customers will now enjoy 40 hours of free out of home WiFi access per month to the company's growing network of 17 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots.
  • Comcast is also expanding its pilot program for low-income senior citizens from five cities and metropolitan areas to twelve.

These enhancements are being offered for no additional cost to either new or existing customers and reaffirm Comcast's commitment to bringing the transformative power of the Internet into more low-income homes.

David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation, made the announcement in Miami with six-time Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who will serve for the second year as Internet Essentials' national spokesperson. Cohen also introduced Adamari López, host of Telemundo's Un Nuevo Día, who will become the program's first ever national Hispanic spokesperson. The three kicked off a multi-city tour, which will run through October.

"When we started this program six years ago, we never imagined four million low-income Americans would benefit from it," said Cohen. "We also never would have reached this milestone without our amazing, dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world. While this milestone is a wonderful moment to celebrate, it also inspires all of us to keep going to connect even more families to all that the Internet has to offer for education, jobs, healthcare information, news, entertainment, and communication."

Joyner-Kersee added, "I remain so honored that Comcast asked me to serve as the national spokesperson for Internet Essentials. In my post-Olympic career, I've tried to inspire students and athletes to reach their dreams. They can't do that, however, if they don't work hard or have the tools they need to succeed. The Internet Essentials program gives every child access to a level playing field so we don't leave an entire generation behind."

López said, "I am thrilled to be joining the Internet Essentials program as the national Hispanic spokesperson. Hispanics appreciate the value of the Internet because it is a connection to their families and their culture. They also value it because of what it means for education and employment opportunities. I look forward to helping to connect even more Spanish-speakers to the amazing resources this program offers."

How Internet Essentials Connected 4 Million Americans

Since 2011, Comcast has invested nearly $350 million in cash and in-kind support to fund digital literacy initiatives nationally, reaching nearly 5 million people through our nonprofit community partners.

Through June 2017, Comcast has:

  • Dedicated more than $1.8 million in grants to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones, a network of nonprofit partners focused on enhancing public Internet access and increasing family-focused digital literacy training in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, and Seattle, among others.
  • Broadcast 10 million public service announcements, valued at nearly $120 million.
  • Provided more than 65,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each.
  • Distributed nearly 55 million pieces of Internet Essentials program material.
  • Welcomed more than 9 million visitors to the Internet Essentials English and Spanish websites, and its Online Learning Center.
  • Fielded more than 5.6 million phone calls to our Internet Essentials call center.
  • Offered Internet Essentials in more than 55,000 schools in more than 5,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Partnered with 9,000 community-based organizations, government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected officials to help address the digital divide and enhance digital literacy.

Customer Statistics:

  • 98 percent of families are using their Internet service for schoolwork.
  • 93 percent of families feel their Internet service had a positive impact on their child's grades.
  • 62 percent feel their Internet service helped someone in the household locate or obtain employment.
  • More than 90 percent of Internet Essentials customers are satisfied with the program.
  • 96 percent of Internet Essentials customers they would recommend the program to friends and family.
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, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers should call 1-855-765-6995.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.



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