Comcast Unveils Ambitious And Comprehensive Broadband Adoption Experiment For Twin Cities Area

Internet Essentials Provides Low-Cost Internet Service, Affordable Computers and Digital Literacy Training to Families with Children in the National School Lunch Program

TWIN CITIES, MN – August 11, 2011 – Comcast is pleased to announce the nationwide launch of Internet Essentials, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption experiment. It’s the first program to address three of the primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified – 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful; 2) the cost of a home computer, and 3) the cost of Internet service. Internet Essentials is available to low-income families across Comcast’s Twin Cities service area with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer.

“While America has increasingly become a digital nation, many low-income families are being left at a disadvantage because they don’t have Internet service at home. Comcast is leading the charge in making broadband adoption a reality for more families,” said Bill Wright, senior vice president of Comcast’s Twin Cities Region. “We’re proud to partner with a variety of schools and community organizations in the Twin Cities to help spread the word about Internet Essentials. We need parents, educators, community leaders and other government officials to join in this effort to help increase broadband adoption in our community.”

According to David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President, “The Internet is a great equalizer and a life-changing technology. Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families by connecting students online with their teachers and their school’s educational resources. Parents will also be enabled to receive digital literacy training so they can do things like apply for jobs online or use the Internet to learn more about healthcare and government services available where they live.”

Service Details:
Internet Essentials participants will receive:

  • Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month;
  • No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
  • A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 + tax;
  • Access to free digital literacy training in print, online or in person.

Additional benefits include a 30-day money back guarantee and a complementary Nortonâ„¢ Security Suite ($160 value) for comprehensive online security protection.

A household is eligible to participate in the Internet Essentials program if it meets the following criteria:

  • Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
  • Has at least one child eligible to receive a free school lunch under the NSLP;
  • As an example, according to the Department of Agriculture, a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income
  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years and through the end of the 2013-14 school year. Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials provided the household still qualifies for the program until that child graduates from high school.

For general information about Internet Essentials, please visit for English and for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.

In the Twin Cities, Comcast supports a wide array of community organizations through innovative programs and partnership opportunities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Minneapolis Urban League, Hmong American Partnership, CLUES, Neighborhood House, and many others. Comcast also provides courtesy video and/or Internet services to schools and other public entities across its service area.

About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.

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