Comcast Internet Essentials reaches out to embrace veterans

Photos from the Comcast Internet Essentials Back to School events, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (Joy Asico/Comcast)

Since 2011, Internet Essentials from Comcast has connected more than 6 million low-income Americans to the Worldwide Web – 260,000 in Washington State alone. The largest and most comprehensive high-speed broadband adoption program for low-income families in the U.S., Internet Essentials continues to thrive, with a major announcement made this month: a significant expansion of eligibility to low-income veterans. Nearly one million low-income veterans live within the Comcast footprint.

Comcast Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David L. Cohen stopped in Seattle on Oct. 10 to make the announcement.

“We’re very proud of the success of this program and I’m thrilled to be in Seattle to make this announcement,” he said, noting that any veteran on state or federal assistance is eligible to receive all the benefits of Comcast Internet Essentials. And the benefits are considerable:

  • high-speed internet service
  • low cost at $9.99 a month (plus tax)
  • option to purchase an internet ready computer for under $150
  • multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person
  • access to new enhancements and upgrades

U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists from the 2018 U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando were recently named as ambassadors and spokespeople for Comcast’s corporate values initiatives. The sisters spoke to Comcast’s efforts to improve digital literacy throughout the nation at the Oct. 10 announcement.

“After the Olympics, you have a platform to do different things. Once we learned about the Internet Essentials program, we were really excited to be part of it,” Monique said. “We get lots of gratification making positive impacts on communities, so to work with Comcast and their passion aligns with what we’re passionate about.”

In addition to embracing low-income families and veterans, Comcast reaches out to homeless populations as well, including homeless veterans, and Cohen addressed this at the announcement.

“In many cities, some of our most active partners are those that serve the homeless,” he said. “Through our relationships with service providers for the homeless, we can sign up their housing units so that residents have access to computers and the internet.”

Comcast in Washington is the first corporate sponsor of the Lacey Veterans Services Hub, an organization founded from collaborating efforts of Thurston County and the City of Lacey to serve the large veteran population in that area. The goal of the Hub is to provide a one-stop shop for veterans to access resources, benefits, counseling, finance advice, jobs, housing and support for self-sufficiency and their transition out of the military.

Comcast provided funds for the Hub to purchase computers and laptops and set up a tech center/computer lab for veterans that use services at the Hub so they can have access to online job applications and applying for benefits. Through this partnership, Comcast is also partnering with the Hub to provide information and access to its Internet Essentials program and sign up veterans.

“Our Internet Essentials expansion to serve low-income veterans is a great example of how Comcast helps to bridge the technology divide and works in collaboration with public entities right here in our local communities,” Cohen said. “This public-private partnership with the Lacey Veterans Services Hub is a key example of our work in the community to increase access to digital literacy and narrow the digital divide for communities that face the biggest barriers.”

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