Comcast and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative said today that public housing and HUD-assisted residents living in Comcast’s service area are eligible to apply for Internet Essentials, the company’s high-speed internet adoption program for low-income families.
Including homes covered by Comcast’s pilot public housing expansion announced in March, an estimated total of up to 2 million HUD-assisted homes, including Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Multifamily programs, will now have access to low-cost internet service.
The aim of this program is to “close the digital divide in America,” Comcast said in a press release. Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed internet adoption program.
It provides low-cost high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.
Building on the Obama Administration’s goal to expand high speed broadband to all Americans, in July 2015, President Obama and HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced ConnectHome, an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing.
Through ConnectHome, internet service providers, non-profits and the private sector are offering broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units in 28 pilot communities across the nation.
ConnectHome creates a platform to help ensure that students have access to high-speed internet for studying and doing their homework at home, as well as in school.
“ConnectHome is opening doors of opportunity for our next generation of Americans,” said HUD Secretary, Julián Castro in a prepared statement. “Today’s announcement has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids across the nation by giving them the tools to reach their full potential,” he added.