The gap between people who benefit from using online resources and those who are not is called the digital divide, and it exists in underserved communities throughout Washington state. For over a decade, we’ve worked hard to address this challenge and have connected more than 140,000 households in Washington to high-speed Internet at home, many for the first time, through our Internet Essentials program.
Internet Essentials addresses the barriers to internet adoption through free digital literacy training resources, the option to purchase a discounted computer, and low-cost, high-speed Internet for under ten dollars a month, plus tax. Through this program, we’ve been able to connect students, families, and communities needing affordable internet resources. But more needs to be done.
That is why Comcast is joining friends and colleagues across our industry and from partner organizations to kick off the ACP Week of Action, which is now underway. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Week of Action, happening June 14-22, 2023, brings together organizations and leaders from all sectors to spread awareness about this program, help thousands of new households get enrolled, and tell the story of how the ACP is helping to close the digital divide for students, their families, and all Americans.
Comcast has been a participant in the ACP since day one, with the program providing our eligible customers with a $30/month benefit ($75/month on Tribal lands) toward Internet service – which makes our Internet Essentials and Internet Essentials Plus products free.
Comcast’s decade of experience working in this space has given us the data and know-how to tackle this challenge head-on. Through Project UP, we have a network of hundreds of partner organizations across our footprint, working in cities and towns from coast to coast on broadband adoption and ACP awareness. In fact, this year Comcast will invest $9.5 million in nonprofits and community-based organizations in the Pacific Northwest to raise awareness of and drive sign-ups for the ACP, and to train and deploy Digital Navigators.
Which brings us to this ACP Week of Action. Together with other companies and partners, we’re part of an activation from June 14-22 to shine a light on the truly transformative nature of the ACP – connecting people with virtually no cost to them, especially those who need it most. For the week of action, we are continuing to work with local community partners to raise awareness of and participation in the ACP.