Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has expanded its Internet Essentials senior pilot program to low-income seniors in Hartford, CT. The MSO says it has now connected more than 32,000 residents from 8,000 households across Connecticut via its low-income broadband adoption program, and more than a million households across its footprint.
Comcast has also increased the program's Internet service speeds from 10/1 Mbps to up to 15/2 Mbps and is providing Internet Essentials customers 40 hours of free out-of-home WiFi access per month on the company's network of 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots. The WiFi access is in addition to the free in-home WiFi provided under the Internet Essentials program.
Comcast is also making investments in several Hartford non-profits to provide computers and support digital training. The integrated approach is designed to address what the MSO sees as the three major barriers to broadband adoption: digital literacy, access to computer equipment and affordable Internet service.
"When we started this program six years ago, we never imagined 4 million low-income Americans would benefit from it," said David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer of Comcast. "We also never would have reached this milestone without our many dedicated nonprofit partners, elected officials, educators, employees, libraries and advocates who were all united by the belief that the Internet is essential, not only to compete in the 21st century economy, but also to be connected to loved ones and the world. While this milestone is a wonderful moment to celebrate, it also inspires all of us to keep going to connect even more families to all that the Internet has to offer for education, jobs, healthcare, news, information and entertainment."