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.