|Why Are Some Americans Still Not Connected To The Internet?|
|Written by NAPSII|
|Sunday, 18 September 2011 08:23|
(NAPSI) - For most Americans, using the Internet is a routine activity that’s often taken for granted. Whether it’s for work, to research school assignments, read the latest news, access healthcare information, or for entertainment, going online is part of the day to day. But while a majority of America has become a digital nation, many low-income families are still at a disadvantage because they don’t have a PC or Internet service at home.
Research by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has shown that more than 33% of American homes are not connected to the Internet. A closer look at the data reveals a disproportionately large number of those households are low-income families. To help close this digital divide, Comcast is offering a new program called Internet Essentials.
Experts have identified three primary barriers to broadband adoption: a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful to one’s daily life, the cost of a home computer and the cost of Internet service. Internet Essentials is an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption experiment designed to address these barriers head on. The program will provide low-income families, those with children eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), with low-cost Internet access, a voucher to buy a low-cost computer and digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, the program will be rolled out in more than 4,000 school districts in 39 states as well as Washington, D.C.
Comcast’s goal is to help try to close the digital divide and help level the playing field for low-income families by connecting students online with their teachers and their school’s educational resources, by enabling parents to apply for jobs online or for families to use the Internet to learn more about healthcare and government services available where they live. However, in order for a program like this to be successful and make a difference for many families, it requires support. Comcast is asking for help from parents, educators, community leaders and government officials to join in this effort, so that those who are eligible can get connected to the Internet, get a computer and receive training.
For general information about Internet Essentials, visit: www.internetessentials.com (for English) or visit www.internetbasico.com (for Spanish). Educators and third-parties interested in more information should visit www.internetessentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846- 8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765- 6995.