Dearest Friends & Partners,
We hope you are well. we know that everyone is feeling anxiety about COVID-19 and what it means for the communities where we live and work. I have spoken to many of you during the past few weeks about contingencies for large events and celebrations, as well as about the critical work to advocate and sustain programs for the most vulnerable members of our society.
At Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo this work has been top of mind. While we modify our travel and plans, we want to make sure you are aware of an important announcement regarding Internet Essentials. This is their signature corporate social responsibility initiative to close the digital divide and today nearly 10 million low income Americans use Comcast Internet Essentials for at-home broadband. As more moves online in the coming days and weeks, they have made program upgrades that we would like you to share with your network:
- We have increased speeds to 25/3 Mbps to better facilitate tele-work and distance learning as children and workers are home.
- 60 Days of Free Service — We are offering all low income Americans that do not have at-home broadband service the opportunity to sign up for 60 days of no-cost service, with the opportunity to sign up after for $9.95 per month or cancel service at no cost.
- Support is available in Spanish and ASL as well as other languages at www.internetessentials.com
- People can sign up by phone.
The full announcement is below. This is a real-time work in progress, and they are still working so that it is available across the Comcast footprint as early as Monday.
If you are working with seniors, school-aged children, whomever – this is an incredible tool to show them the value of at-home broadband and have them cross the digital divide. Please consider reaching out to your networks to show them how this is a way to complete the Census, sign up for alerts, register for government programs and benefits, as well as connect with family and friends during this time of social distancing.
D&P Creative Strategies,
on behalf of Comcast NBCUniversal-Telemundo
Comcast Increases Access to and Speeds of Internet Essentials’ Low-Income Internet Service to Support Americans Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
Dana Strong, President, Consumer Services, Comcast Cable
March 12th, 2020 – As our country continues to manage the COVID-19 emergency, we recognize that our company plays an important role in helping our customers stay connected – to their families, their workplaces, their schools, and the latest information about the virus – through the Internet.
We also know that for millions of low-income Americans who don’t have Internet service at home, this uncertain time is going to be even more difficult to manage. As schools and businesses close and families are encouraged, or even mandated, to stay home, Internet connectivity becomes even more important.
At Comcast, we’ve been looking for ways to help through our Internet Essentials program, which is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income Americans. Since 2011, it has connected millions of individuals to the Internet.
A hallmark of this program has been our flexibility in adjusting Internet Essentials to meet the needs of low-income residents in our footprint. So, effective Monday, we are putting in place two substantial program enhancements to help these families deal with this crisis.
- We will make it even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign up by offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
- Also, we are increasing Internet speeds for the Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward. In this way, we will ensure that Internet Essentials customers will be able to use their Internet service for all their increased needs as a result of this health crisis.
We want to make it as fast and simple as possible to access this service:
- To receive the increased Internet speeds, existing customers will not need to do anything. The new speeds will be rolled out nationally over the next few days.
- We’ll send all new customers a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem with a Wi-Fi router. There will be no term contract or credit check and no shipping fee.
- To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
We’re also reaching out to our thousands of governmental and nonprofit partners to help us spread the word. Our hope is that broader access and faster speeds will help all of our Internet Essentials customers more easily work from home, access educational resources, obtain important government health care alerts, and stay in contact with their families during this difficult time.
Jovita Carranza was recently appointed the 36th head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Carranza’s own life reflects that of many Latino individuals who have achieved success despite seemingly insurmountable odds. She was the youngest of three children born to Mexican immigrant parents in a working-class family in Chicago. Her father held a factory job while her mother cared for the children and household. Carranza herself held two jobs even as she raised her child alone, while also attending college.
Carranza’s career includes having served as United States Treasurer and as the principal advisor to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, where she was responsible for overseeing the federal department’s Office of Consumer Policy. She also worked as Deputy Administrator of SBA under President George W. Bush from 2006-2009, overseeing more than 80 field offices and a portfolio of loans of $80 billion.
Carranza is a committed and passionate champion of women entrepreneurs, including Latinas who represent the fastest growing sector of small business owners in the United States.
Every year, since its inception, LCDA—the SER Affiliate in the State of Oklahoma—convenes at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City to recognize community partners that further the mission of the organization. On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, LCDA celebrated the 28th LCDA Annual Award by selling out the event center. Close to 650 community partners gathered to recognize the year’s winners as well as hear about the new expansion of services into Tulsa, Oklahoma – the second largest city in the State who hosts the second largest Latino population.
The event began with a proclamation from the Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, followed by a Latino-inspired lunch, and ending with 12 awards. Among the many dignitaries at the Luncheon, was the Consuls of Guatemala and Mexico. The event also served as a LCDA fundraiser.
The Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) is a nonprofit social services organization founded in 1991 to address the unique needs of Spanish-speaking newcomers in central Oklahoma. The organization’s mission: To improve the quality of life in the Latino community through education, leadership, services and advocacy. No other social services provider in the state has the same level of program depth, experience or collaborative connections or offers all of their programs bilingually. Last year, LCDA served nearly 50,000 members of the community.
The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships, funded by the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, recognize student innovation and youth-led solutions to fight hunger across the country. Applicants must have demonstrated ongoing commitment to their community by performing unpaid volunteer services impacting hunger in the United States within the last 12 months. Students between the ages of five and 25 are eligible to apply. The winners receive a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a $5,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice in their local community. In addition, regional honorees receive a $1,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice. Applications may be submitted through December 5, 2019. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the Official Rules and Factsheet, and to access the online application.
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