More than 9,000 Kansas City households are among the potential beneficiaries of a new national digital divide initiative.
Comcast recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative, marking the largest expansion to Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. Now all Kansas City households within a Comcast service area that receive HUD housing assistance are eligible for high-speed internet at low costs.
Meredith Moore-Crosby, the Director of Community Investment at Comcast, is excited about the opportunity to expand Internet availability. She says that there is a real digital divide in this country. Lower-income families don’t always have broadband internet access, which is an increasing necessity for school and work. 43 percent of individuals without a high school diploma or equivalent lack internet access, according to the 2013 American Community survey.
“Our goal is to do everything possible to help close that divide, both here in the Kansas City area and around the nation,” Moore-Crosby said.
The Internet Essentials program provides high-speed internet for $9.95 a month plus tax and gives eligible customers the option to purchase an internet-ready computer for under $150.
The program has previously extended broadband access to low-income families who have a child eligible for the National School Lunch Program. But Internet Essentials is no longer limited to individuals with children.
Since 2011, the Internet Essentials Program has been growing to reach as many low-income families as possible. More than 2.4 million Americans have benefited, and this partnership will expand their reach. Working with HUD is the ninth time Comcast has expanded eligibility.
“We’re grateful for our community partners in the Kansas City area, such as Boys & Girls Club and Community Services League, who have helped us spread the word about Internet Essentials over the years,” Moore-Crosby said. “We look forward to continuing to expand those partnerships in an effort to bring Internet Essentials to as many eligible households as possible.”