Access to technology, and in particular the Internet, is an essential tool in today’s world. Students can use the Internet to find information related to school assignments and research, parents can use it to search for and apply to jobs and pay bills, and families can enjoy playing games or downloading music together. The possibilities the Internet provide are endless.
Unfortunately, thousands of students and their families in Utah don’t have Internet at home, creating a barrier to achievement.According to the Pew Research Center, only 45% of those with household incomes under $30,000 have broadband at home. As the nation’s leading Internet provider, we want to help make the Internet accessible to more people.
That’s why we’re proud to offer Internet Essentials, an important program designed to help increase broadband adoption and digital literacy among students and their families. Internet Essentials brings affordable home Internet to certain households with children receiving free or reduced-priced school lunches under the National School Lunch Program.
While participating in Internet Essentials, families receive:
- 3 Mbps Internet for just $9.95 a month + tax;
- No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
- A low-cost computer available at initial enrollment for just $149.99 + tax; and
- Access to free Internet training – online, in print and in classroom.
Last week, Comcast in Utah hosted a technology fair at Edison Elementary School in downtown Salt Lake City, where students and families learned about the importance of access to the Internet. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, Comcast Executive Vice President and General Manager of Data and Communications Services Cathy Avgiris and Salt Lake School District Superintendent McKell Withers were present to kick off year two of Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program in Utah.
According to Mayor Peter Corroon, “We live, learn and work in a connected world. Internet Essentials provides a way for many families to get online who may not have been able to do so in the past. It is a valuable resource for our community.”
Currently, 6,000 students and family members have enrolled in the program since it launched in Utah in October 2011. Internet Essentials is available to nearly 51,000 local families who receive a free or reduced price lunch under the NSLP in Comcast’s service area in Utah.
In addition, Comcast donated 22 netbook computers to Edison Elementary and individual students. 10 of the computers were donated to the school, 2 to families of students, and five computers were given away in a drawing to the following students in grades 1 through 5 at the school based on most improved language arts scores. Comcast is also donating five netbook computers to be awarded to students throughout the school year who demonstrate the most improvement in their language arts scores.
For more information on the Internet Essentials program, please call 1-855-INTERNET or visit InternetEssentials.com.