Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) earlier this week celebrated the beginning of its second year offering the Internet Essentials program promoting broadband adoption for low-income households. (It actually launched in August 2011, but who's counting?) As it moves to further promote and expand the program, Comcast also separately announced this week that it had forged two new partnerships with the U.S. Department of Labor and Connect2Compete.
The Internet Essentials includes $9.95 per month Internet access, among other offers. It is available to families with children participating in the National School Lunch Program across Comcast's service area, which includes 39 states and the District of Columbia. Since the launch of the program in August 2011, more than 100,000 families--or 400,000 individuals--have enrolled, and more than 11,000 discounted computers have been distributed.
Under the agreement with the Dept. of Labor, Comcast will provide information about Internet Essentials at American Job Centers across its entire service footprint. This follows on a partnership announced in July between Secretary Solis and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski where information for Connect2Compete will be made available in American Job Centers throughout the country.
Comcast will also partner with Connect2Compete to offer Internet Essentials customers an opportunity this fall to purchase a low-cost desktop or laptop through its partner Redemtech, as an alternative to the low-cost netbook currently made available directly through Comcast's hardware partners.
The cable TV giant launched the Internet Essentials program as a condition of its NBCUniversal deal agreement, but the company deserves credit for continuing to put energy behind the program.
- here's the Comcast release
Special Report: Low-cost broadband access: How do MSOs compare?
Comcast this week touted success of Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials launched in Chicago in August 2011