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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 11, 2012

Comcast Announces Year Two of Internet Essentials Program in Houston

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

Comcast (News - Alert) announced the start of year two of its Internet Essentials Program in Houston at an Internet Essentials Community Connections Summit held at the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA) Learning Center.

The Internet Essentials Program is a comprehensive broadband adoption program that is expected to encourage low-income American families to go online and benefit from it. Already 4,500 families or 18,000 people living in the Greater Houston area have enrolled in the program.

According to official figures, nationally about 100,000 families or 400,000 low-income Americans have signed up for this initiative which is aimed at providing Internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training to families.

In a release Filemon Lopez, Comcast SVP of Strategic Operations said, “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved for having made the Internet Essentials program such a resounding success. Cities like Houston are making a tangible difference in the lives of their students and families who are now able to go online at home and access the endless resources the Internet has to offer.”

Comcast has made several enhancements to its Internet Essentials program. The eligibility requirements have been revamped to include families with children eligible to receive reduced price school lunches under the National School Lunch Program. This will now encompass another 300,000 additional households taking the total of eligible families to 2.3 million.

On the technology side, Comcast has doubled broadband speeds to up to three Mbps downstream and up to 768 Kbps upstream besides sprucing up the free Internet safety software. The software will now include Constant Guard Protection Suite with Norton Security Suite, identity theft protection and other required features.

Doug Guthrie, SVP for Comcast in Houston commented, “I’m proud to stand here today and say the City of Houston is helping the nation close the digital divide. But we still have work to do. There are still too many low-income families in Houston who can benefit from getting online at home. So, I’m urging parents, educators, community leaders and other government officials to press on with this effort, spread the word and help increase broadband adoption.”

Comcast also announced the launch of year two of the Internet Essentials Broadband Adoption Program in Washington State. In its first full year of availability 5,000 Washington families or almost 20,000 state residents have been covered by the program. Comcast strives to achieve more enrollments for the program, said officials.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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