Connect2Compete (C2C) has agreed to join Comcast in its mission to provide additional choices for affordable computer equipment, in addition to affordable internet service, for low income families.
C2C is an initiative that is supplemented and promoted by both private and public sources, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). C2C was launched last year with the participation of the cable industry, so that low income Americans don’t have to stay on the wrong side of the digital divide. The initiative is meant to narrow the gap between the country’s internet haves and have nots by providing free digital literacy training, low cost high-speed Internet, and affordable computers for low-income American families.
The joint initiative with Comcast means that qualifying families under the Comcast Internet Essentials program have the opportunity to purchase computers for $150 through Redemtech’s GoodPC brand. Redemtech will supply refurbished used computers that includes Microsoft software, warranty, technical support and free shipping at the discounted price, which is only available to eligible families under the Comcast Internet Essentials program.
“Once considered a luxury, owning a computer and an Internet connection have become absolutely essential to getting a job, succeeding in school and participating in today’s society, yet 60 percent of low-income households still lack a desktop or laptop computer,” stated C2C CEO Zach Leverenz. “When citizens have access to technology and training, incredible transformation can occur in their lives and in our economy. This partnership involving Comcast, C2C and Redemtech will help low-income families and children gain the equipment and essential digital literacy skills that will have a transformative impact.”
“As research indicates, the lack of a computer in the home is one of the primary causes for the digital divide,” noted Comcast Executive VP David Cohen. “Our partnership with Connect2Compete and Redemtech helps brings new, affordable computer hardware options to families looking to get connected to the Internet at home.”
Comcast launched the Internet Essentials program last year, which is Comcast Basic Cable Packages available to low income families with children in the National School Lunch Program. To qualify, applicants must live in Comcast’s service area, which covers 39 states including the District of Columbia.
Since the inception of program in 2011, more than 100,000 families have taken advantage of Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program. This also helped qualifying families buy over 11,000 discounted computers since the initiative made its successful debut last year. In addition, families with children who receive reduced lunches are now considered eligible for the program, which should help increase participation, internet knowledge, and readiness across all income levels.
Families participating in the Internet Essentials plan can now enjoy maximum download speeds of 3 Mbps, which should be enough broadband for emailing, web surfing, and even some mild online video streaming and video chatting. This enhanced basic service not only provides the internet access that people need to participate in today’s wired economy–it also makes the world a little larger for every child, no matter what economic class they started out from.