From our friends at Comcast

Comcast enhances Internet Essentials program for low-income families.

With distance learning the current reality in Portland, Comcast recently announced enhancements to its Internet Essentials program, designed to help accelerate Internet adoption at this critical time.  Internet Essentials offers low-income households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95/month, along with the option to buy a heavily-subsidized computer, and multiple options for free digital literacy training. 

And all new Internet Essentials customers can receive two months of free Internet service if they apply before the end of 2020.  In addition, the company announced it will forgive back debt due so more families can apply.

Another feature of the recent announcement: Comcast is providing all Internet Essentials customers free access to xFi, a simple, digital dashboard that enables customers to set up and manage their home WiFi and their children’s devices. With it, they can see what devices are connected, set safe-browsing modes so children can only access age-appropriate content, get notifications about activity on their home WiFi, and have the ability to pause devices for dinner or bedtime.

“Internet Essentials has been crucial for our families and students who rely on us for not only academics but also essential needs and social and emotional supports,”

Karen Werstein, Portland Public Schools

Over the past decade, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the Internet.  Marion Haynes, Vice-President of External Affairs at Comcast Oregon/SW Washington, says school districts across the region are partnering with Comcast to ensure kids can successfully participate in distance learning.  “Internet Essentials is truly living up to its name, providing school districts and their student populations with an established program to bridge the digital divide.”

“Internet Essentials has been crucial for our families and students who rely on us for not only academics but also essential needs and social and emotional supports,” said Karen Werstein of Portland Public Schools, the state’s largest school district. “Our partnership with Comcast has enabled students to progress through their school curricula, and stay connected to their teachers and classmates during these uncertain times.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Internet Essentials Partnership Program” has already collaborated with more than 10 school districts in Oregon/SW Washington The program relies on public-private partnerships and enables entire communities to work together to coordinate funding to help connect K-12 students at no cost to the customer. The program also includes two months of free Internet service for new Internet Essentials customers.  

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The broadband speeds offered through Internet Essentials ensure households have all they need to remain connected to essential online activities.  A home with Internet Essentials can have up to three high-quality Zoom calls at the same time or four simultaneous high-quality video calls on Skype.

To apply, go to www.internetessentials.com

PDX Parent Staff
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