Comcast Brings Affordable Broadband to Low-Income Undergraduates
Comcast has expanded coverage of Internet Essentials to include recipients of federal Pell Grants in areas where it is available. In doing so, it gives undergraduates from low-income households access to a low-cost internet connection at a time when they may need it tremendously and in time for the 10th anniversary of Internet Essentials. “These additional initiatives come as the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated far-reaching effects that disproportionately impact those who traditionally lack access to the tools, resources and skills to connect,” wrote the company in its advertisement.
The Internet Essentials program was launched in 2011 and has expanded its coverage several times since then until, according to the company, it connected “a cumulative total of more than 10 million people to the Internet.” Earlier this year, the company doubled the speed of the plan, giving subscribers access to download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and downloads of up to 5 Mbps.
In addition to giving Pell Grant recipients access to Internet Essentials, Comcast has also pledged $ 15 million in Internet services and equipment. Its pledge includes more than 25,000 laptops that will be donated to low-income students, the elderly and veterinarians. The move is part of the company’s UP project, an initiative to “advance digital equity”. The laptops will be distributed in cities nationwide, including Houston, TX; Sacramento, California; Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hartford, Connecticut; Baltimore, MD; Memphis, TN; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Jacksonville, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; Boston, MA; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Grand Rapids, MI.