Comcast offers $10 broadband to help poor children cross digital divide
That's the view of Dr. Robert T. McLaughlin, an education consulant with the state Department of Education and co-chairman of the Digital Opportunity Consortium, a nonprofit group working to expand the reach of the Internet.
About two years ago, to close the divide between the haves and have-nots, Comcast established Internet Essentials to provide nearly 1,000 New Hampshire families with Internet access for about $10 a month and a subsidized netbook — Dell or Acer — for $150. Originally, the family of any child who qualified for a free school lunch was eligible, but that was expanded to any family whose child qualified for a subsidized lunch, said Mark Reilly, senior vice president of government affairs for Comcast's Northeast Division.
Reilly said surveys of those families using Internet Essentials show 98 percent of the children were using it for homework and that grades improved for 94 percent of them. Additionally, 59 percent of the adults were able to find jobs by applying online.
Reilly said that, in Manchester, only 20 percent of those living in the inner city have Internet access at home. That compares to Bedford where 100 percent of residents have broadband, he said.
"Broadband is a critical ingredient for academic success," said Virginia M. Barry, commissioner of the state Department of Education. "I appreciate the vision of local school departments from the city of Nashua to the city of Portsmouth to support this initiative and encourage more families to get online. And we are grateful to Comcast for being a valuable partner in not only offering this important Internet Essentials program, but by providing digital literacy training as well. Having widespread Internet access in every home possible will ensure that our children have brighter opportunities in the future."
Since the program began, more than 220,000 low-income families nationwide — about 900,000 people — now have a broadband connection at home through the program.
READER COMMENTS: 5
- Public be damned: Litchfield latest example - 2
- NH's 9/11 victims: We cannot forget - 0
- Celebrating Stark: And America, in Manchester - 0
- NH's Obamabots: Taking their cues from party bosses - 66
- Spending & voting: MayDay's wasted money - 5
- For the NH GOP: Two new stars - 13
- 9/11 memories revived: 'A quiet, unyielding anger' - 8
- Shaheen vs. free speech: She wants to silence you - 24
- Immigration scam: Obama hides his plan - 17
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Man stabbed in leg in Manchester incident - 0
- Senate sustains Hassan veto of bill to revamp juvenile justice system - 0
- Possible negotiated plea for Nashua dad accused of negligent homicide in son's death - 0
- Amherst man facing charges in August Merrimack accident - 0
- Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Brown calls on Shaheen to back bill targeting ISIS - 4
- Traffic backed up a mile in Hampton tractor-trailer accident - 0
- Woman shot during Manchester drug raid is identified - 0
- Citizen's Police Academy in Manchester set for Oct. 1 - 0
- NHIAA Football Power Poll; Who's No. 1 this week? - 0
In 2nd District race, Garcia bucks Obamacare
Attorney claims illegal phone seizure following Christmas Eve accident that killed Brookline mom
Find the hidden cash stashed downtown
Strategery: A war by any other name
Strategery: A war by any other name
Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.?
Lawyer wants cellphone evidence thrown out
Mexican man pleads guilty in international conspiracy to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine
Your Turn, NH -- Ted Menswar Jr.: How Manchester pulled together to honor one of its greats