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April 15, 2021, 10:01 a.m. EDT

COMCAST’S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM CONNECTED MORE THAN 296,000 LOW-INCOME NEW MEXICANS TO THE INTERNET OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS

Comcast Commits to Investing $1 Billion Over Next 10 Years to Reach 50 Million Low-Income Americans with Tool and Resources to Succeed in Digital World

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Apr 15, 2021 (News Direct via Comtex) -- --News Direct--

On the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, Comcast today announced it has connected more than 296,000 low-income New Mexicans to a home internet connection. Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. The company also announced they will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income Americans the tools and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Since 2011, the company, working in collaboration with its network of thousands of nonprofit partners, has connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people in America to broadband Internet at home, the overwhelming majority of whom were not connected prior to signing up.

The top New Mexico cities by Internet Essentials-connected individuals since 2011 include:

  • Albuquerque: 180,000

  • Las Cruces: 44,000

  • Santa Fe: 21,600

  • Deming: 9,600

  • Los Lunas: 8,400

  • Farmington: 6,800

“Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has provided Albuquerque Public Schools students and families with tools and resources to access high speed Internet at home. The APS Education Foundation has been proud to partner with Comcast and work with the program to bridge the digital divide and offer Albuquerque communities the opportunity to access critical resources online,” said Shannon Barnhill, Executive Director, APS Education Foundation. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Comcast as we tackle new opportunities in our changing digital world.”

Comcast’s $1 billion commitment will include investments in a number of critical areas, including: additional support for its ongoing Lift Zone initiative, which establishes WiFi-connected safe spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021 including more than 30 in New Mexico; new laptop and computer donations; grants for nonprofit community organizations to create opportunities for low-income Americans, particularly in media, technology, and entrepreneurship; and continued investment in the company’s landmark Internet Essentials program. It is estimated that these new commitments will impact as many as 50 million Americans over the next 10 years. In 2021 alone, Comcast estimates students will be able to complete more than 25 million hours of remote learning lessons to further address the “homework gap” at the hundreds of Lift Zone locations that have already opened or will open soon.

“Ten years is a remarkable milestone, signifying an extraordinary amount of work and collaboration with our incredible community partners across the country,” said Chris Dunkeson, Area Vice President, Comcast. “Together, we have been able to connect thousands of people to the power of the Internet at home, and to the endless opportunity, education, growth, and discovery it provides. Today, we are rededicating ourselves to this mission to ensure that the next generation of students in America has the tools, resources, and abilities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

In addition to capturing the total number of connections Internet Essentials has provided, the Internet Essentials 10-Year Progress Report also highlights other key metrics about the program, including:

  • Increased the program’s Internet speeds six times, from 1.5 Mbps in 2011 to 50 Mbps today, without ever increasing the price of the program, which has remained $9.95/month.

  • Launched its Lift Zones program, which aims to connect more than 1,000 community centers across the country, with more than 30 in New Mexico, with free WiFi by the end of 2021.

  • Developed an Internet Essentials Partnership Program that has signed up hundreds of schools, school districts, and other organizations that have come together to help connect tens of thousands of students to the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Offered 60 days of free Internet service to any new Internet Essentials customer who needed to get online during the coronavirus outbreak.

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