Comcast and TDF Foundation Join Forces to Reduce Digital Divide in Pittsburgh

TDF Foundation Announces Initiative to Provide 25 Pittsburgh Familieswith Comcast’s Internet Essentials Service for One Year and a Computer

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 24, 2014) – Launched three years ago by Comcast, the Internet Essentials program helps close the digital divide by providing eligible families low-cost broadband service at home for $9.95 per month.  Today, the TDF Foundation joined Comcast, U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle and former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch at the Estelle S. Campbell Boys & Girls Club in Lawrenceville to announce plans to provide Internet Essentials service for a year and a computer free to 25 local families.

“Access to broadband has a powerful positive effect on individuals and communities,” said Linda Nickell, Foundation Director, TDF Foundation.  “Through our Broadband Initiative, the TDF Foundation has brought Internet access to more than 40,000 Americans in unserved and underserved communities.  We are proud to partner with Comcast to bring Internet Essentials to even more families in Pittsburgh.”

Said Congressman Doyle, “Every day and every month that goes by, the importance of computer literacy grows. Americans who can’t acquire that knowledge and skill when they’re children run a very great risk of being left behind in the competitive knowledge-based economy of the future. That’s why it’s so important to make sure all our nation’s children have access to computers and the Internet as they grow up. Internet Essentials is contributing to achieving that goal.”

Since 2011, Comcast’s innovative broadband adoption program has connected more than 350,000 families, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet – including more than 3,100 families, or about 12,400 residents, in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Comcast has been working with Pittsburgh Public Schools, local Boys & Girls Clubs and many community non-profits to distribute materials about the program to area students and families.  In addition, Comcast has provided local Boys & Girls Clubs with grants to update their computer labs and support their digital literacy programs.

One of the community non-profits working closely with Comcast is the Best of the Batch Foundation, founded by Charlie Batch. “It was a natural fit for Best of the Batch Foundation to partner with Comcast Internet Essentials,” he said. “The Foundation recently opened a state of the art computer lab, which is a great addition to the community, but students and families also want access 24/7. Comcast Internet Essentials helps make that a reality for many families.”

Last week, Comcast extended to September 30 the deadline for applying for Internet Essentials service in order to receive the first six months free. Last month, Comcast announced an amnesty program for customers who have an outstanding bill more than one year old, making them eligible for the program so long as all other eligibility criteria are met.

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program.  It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for about $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.  A household is eligible to participate if it has at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, is located where Comcast offers Internet service, has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days, and does not have unreturned equipment or an overdue Comcast bill in the past year. Families that enroll in the program can continue to enjoy the service as long as one child eligible to participate in the NSLP is living in the household.

For more information about Internet Essentials visit InternetEssentials.com for English andInternetBasico.com for Spanish.  Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at InternetEssentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.

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