I read an interesting article on Black Enterprise today about the digital divide. Hajj Flemings in an article published on Black Enterprise Magazine online says, “Just to be clear, the digital divide is greater than having access to Facebook or sending personal text messages. It’s being able to use the Internet and digital technology to communicate, access information, and create commerce.”
A new program helping to counteract the digital divide is the Comcast Corporation’s Internet Essentials program. They released a press release online to the public this past month, stating that they will offer broadband internet service at a discounted rate ($9.95 a month) to low-income families.
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.”
Comcast is reporting that over 1,000 school districts and 4.5 million students who receive the National School Lunch Program, will be able to receive the Internet Essential service.
The press release states, Internet Essentials addresses what research has identified as three primary barriers to broadband adoption:
- A lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful;
- The cost of a home computer; and
- The cost of Internet service.
How to Qualify
To qualify for $9.95 a month Internet service and a low-cost computer, your household must meet all these criteria:
- Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
- Have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
- Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
- Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
All participants in the program will be enrolled for at least three years. Eligibility guidelines are available via the Internet Essentials website.
Learn more about: Internet Essentials
Read Hajj Fleming’s article on the Digital Divide.