Brief Program Summary: The Internet Essentials program was developed to bridge the digital
divide. Informed by research conducted within the past decade, Comcast developed a program
to address the three factors that prevent people from adopting/purchasing internet service: Cost,
Availability of Equipment (computer), and Education/understanding of what it could do in your life.
The Internet Essentials program offers a pricepoint of $9.95 for service, first two months free; a
computer for under $150 (Comcast supplements the cost); and makes digital education materials
available not only to subscribers. During the pandemic, Comcast has expanded this program to
include the following:
– Lift Zones: Provided community-based Internet Service to increase access to K-12 and adult
students during the pandemic. Comcast established a goal of creating 1000 Lift Zones across
the country. In Indianapolis, Comcast worked in partnership with The Mind Trust and the
eLearning Fund to establish 8 Lift Zones, ensuring the safety and security of having a dedicated,
robust WiFi connectivity.
– Internet Essentials Partnership Program: During the pandemic, Comcast had school systems,
education foundations, and other philanthropic efforts looking to pay for or sponsor a group of
households who lacked internet access. Comcast set up a process/system to send the bill to
partner organizations, grouped together, at a rate of $9.95 for each household being sponsored.
This program removes all financial burden for individuals/families.
– Forgiveness Program: Comcast also extended a Forgiveness Program to any family with an
outstanding bill so the family could still establish a new internet connection during the pandemic.