Digital Equity Initiatives in Independence / Blue Springs
Comcast addresses the Internet connectivity needed inside and outside the home; Local Independence Family shares how life has changed thanks to the Internet Essentials program
Independence, MO – News Direct – Comcast Greater Kansas City
A key lesson from the COVID-19 crisis is the importance of a reliable internet connection at home. With schools closed and people working remotely, the Internet has become, and still is, the only way to go online. But not everyone has equal access to the Internet. It’s a major challenge in Kansas City’s metro cities, including Independence and Blue Springs, and it’s something Comcast is working hard to tackle. Currently, Comcast and its partners are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Internet Essentials program, which is one of the oldest home Internet connectivity programs for low-income families in the country.
Over the past decade, Comcast has connected low-income Americans to the Internet through its Internet essentials program, which has helped connect over 10 million low-income Americans to the Internet at home, including Independence and Blue Springs. As the program provides high-speed home internet service and an included WiFi router for $ 9.95 / month, the coronavirus outbreak at the site has galvanized the need for the company to try and do even more to help. to connect people who are not connected. During the pandemic, Comcast launched two new programs to help: Lift Zones and Internet Essentials Partnership Program.
Lift Zones offer free Wi-Fi in community centers where students and adults can connect. Lift zones are designed to help students who for various reasons cannot participate in distance education at home. There are currently two active lifting areas in the Greater Kansas City area, two in Independence at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Additionally, during the pandemic, Comcast introduced its Internet Essentials Partner Program, designed to help accelerate internet adoption. The program provides the opportunity for school districts and other organizations to quickly fund and connect large numbers of students and families to home broadband access. Comcast has also partnered with the federal government’s Broadband Emergency Benefit (EBB) program to help those who need to access the Internet from their homes, learn virtually and stay informed. The benefit is available to new and existing Internet customers who qualify for all levels of service. To see if you qualify, visit https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/ebb.
For Libet Ojeda, Internet Essentials meant educational stability for her children, continued online schooling throughout 2020 and 2021, and additional language support for their Spanish speaking family.
“When the pandemic hit, I was afraid of the virtual support that my family could get,” said Libet Ojeda. “My two children are in grades 5 and 6 in the Fort Osage School District and when we needed to be home we were delighted that Internet Essentials gave us the ability to provide uninterrupted support at an affordable price. I can’t say enough about the importance of the IE program for our family to have the stability to continue learning on the internet. My daughter has dyslexia and the audiobooks she can use on her tablet have made a big difference in her progress. Without the Internet Essentials program, she would not have the support she needs. My son is on the one-to-one education plan and the IE support he receives on an ongoing basis for his listening and hearing needs is enormous. We are a Spanish speaking family and the ability to get language assistance through the IE service as well has been a game changer for us and other families we know. We even received additional credits through the Comcast IE partnership with the EBB program.
“Ten years is a remarkable milestone, meaning an extraordinary amount of work and collaboration with our incredible community partners across the country,” said Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast Cable. “Together, we have been able to connect millions of people to the power of the Internet at home and the endless possibilities, education, growth and discovery it offers. Today, we are dedicated again to that mission to ensure that the next generation of students in America have the tools, resources, and capabilities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
“I want to express my gratitude to the team at Comcast,” said Dr. Dred Scott, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Kansas City. “Adding Lift Zones to Independence and Olathe clubs to help our students access the Internet is huge. During the pandemic, many of our young people were forced to learn from home without having the technology, equipment and infrastructure to support that learning. I want to thank every member of the Comcast team who made Lift Zone initiatives possible within our clubs. It means so much because of the connection they have with the club. This relationship and partnership is much more than a transactional experience.
For more information on Internet Essentials and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. Families and households can register for the program at www.internetessentials.com or by phone at 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people at important times. We are primarily focused on broadband, aggregation and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships in the US and Europe. We provide broadband, wireless and video services through our Xfinity, Comcast Business and Sky brands; create, distribute and stream premier entertainment, sports and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News and Air Sports; and deliver memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
See the source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/digital-equity-initiatives-in-independence-blue-springs-103685662