Comcast is providing $250,000 in grants to non-profit community organizations in Miami Dade, Palm Beach and Collier counties to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones. Announced in May 2011, Internet Essentials is designed to meet the needs of low-income families with school-age children who are not currently connected to broadband Internet at home.
Honoring the efforts of its community partners, Comcast has established a Gold Medal Recognition Program contributing more than $1 million in grants to dozens of non-profit partners across the country, that have led the way connecting families to home broadband.
The grants in Florida will enable these communities to create a continuum of connectivity or Internet Essentials Learning Zones, that begin in the classroom with wired schools, follow students to wired libraries, computer centers, after-school programs and end in their homes.
“I believe that the moral imperative before us at this point in time is a connected way of living,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho. “Those that are not connected to the internet at home are at a significant educational and economic disadvantage compared to those who are.”
Comcast also announced it has extended Internet Essentials indefinitely beyond its initial three-year commitment. In just two and a half years, the initiative has connected more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, including 160,000 Floridians of which nearly 120,000 live in the South Florida area.
Eligible families in these communities who are not current customers may receive six months of complimentary Internet service by applying for the program.