Comcast Boosts Effort to Close Digital G.I. Divide

Comcast is ramping up its effort to leave no veteran behind when it comes to broadband access help for low-income Americans, which includes some of those vets.

Comcast's Internet Essentials broadband subsidy program was initially targeted to families with children eligible for government assistance, but it has been expanded to include low income seniors (a pilot program in Washington D.C.) and military veterans in its service area, the latter which Comcast says totals almost a million vets.

In an extension of that veterans assistance program announced in Washington Tuesday (Sept. 25), Comcast said it is teaming with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the PsychArmor Institute.

That extension of the previously announced expansion of the program to low-income vets comprises 10 "veteran-specific" digital training videos and materials that will be available online, in classrooms and at Comcast-funded computer labs in 10 markets.

Related: Comcast Says Internet Essentials Has Helped 6 Million Low-Income Americans

“Internet access is incredibly important to the veteran community. Yet, about a third of low-income veterans still do not have Internet service at home and about 40% do not even own a computer,” said David Cohen, senior EVP and chief diversity officer at Comcast. “We think this is simply unacceptable and our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor will help more low-income veterans get connected to the Internet so they can receive the benefits they deserve and learn the digital skills they need to be successful as civilians in our fast-paced, global economy.”

Comcast made the announcement at the Reserve Officers Association Headquarters in Washington.

It also announced a new Internet Essentials Learning Zone in Washington to encourage students to connect at school, after school at libraries and other anchor institutions, then at home with Internet Essentials. That will include Free Comcast broadband for 19 partners including nonprofits and social service organizations.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.