Funding, Grants & Awards
Comcast Extends Internet Essentials to Low-Income Community College Students in Illinois
Comcast has launched a pilot
program to offer its low-cost, high-speed Internet adoption program, Internet Essentials, to more than
90,000 community college students who are recipients of Federal Pell
Grants in Illinois.
Internet Essentials from Comcast provides qualifying families with
high-speed Internet service for $9.95 per month plus tax, as well as the option
to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150, free Wi-Fi routers to
connect any Internet-enabled device to their home service, and access to free
digital literacy training in print, online and in person. Last month, Comcast
increased the download speed of Internet Essentials service to 10 megabits per
Comcast originally launched Internet Essentials in 2011, and since then it
has been available to eligible K-12 students and their families. This pilot
program extends the program to eligible community college students in Illinois,
and the company has launched a similar community college pilot program in
Colorado at the same time.
The company cited recent data on
community colleges from the Department of Education's National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES), which stated that nearly 40 percent of students attending
two-year community colleges receive the need-based Federal Pell Grants, and it
pointed to a report
from the American Association of Community Colleges showing that community
college graduates earn more money and consequently contribute more to the
According to Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois
Community College Board, Internet access at home is an important contributing
factor to success at community college. "The Internet helps Illinois community
colleges deliver coursework and support and communicate with students," said
Anderson in a prepared statement. "Having technology on-site and Internet
service at home removes barriers to online learning, giving students greater
access to the schools, the faculty and a host of additional resources that are
crucial for their success."
Additional information about the program can be found on the Internet Essentials site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at email@example.com.