April 17, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Broadband Is the Key to Low-Income Adoption of the Internet | Commentary

Internet Essentials offers low-cost broadband service, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer at a subsidized price of less than $150 and access to free digital literacy training.

With our nonprofit local partners, we have been able to train 20,000 low-income Americans in basic Internet skills in the first 22 months of the program. We’ve surveyed our Internet Essentials families and found that:

• 98 percent say their kids use the Internet for homework.

• 94 percent feel that Internet access has had a positive impact on their child’s grades.

• 59 percent feel that the Internet helped someone in their household find a job.

Broadband adoption is a complex issue. We’ve learned from our experience that adoption is greatly influenced by socio-economic factors like educational attainment and poverty. According to Pew, 90 percent of college graduates have broadband, compared with 37 percent of adults with less than a high-school education. This complicated, multifaceted problem requires innovative, multi-pronged solutions from policymakers and other stakeholders.

While we’ve connected more than a million low-income Americans to broadband, we all need to continue to do more to address the digital divide and we look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and other interested parties to make sure that all Americans get connected.

David L. Cohen is executive vice president of Comcast Corp.

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