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Comcast Expands Net Aid to Va. Schools

Boosting cable's image as an education leader, Comcast Corp. agreed to
provide a high-speed Internet connection to every school and library in
Arlington County, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

In another move, Comcast also agreed to donate $100,000 -- through its
nonprofit The Comcast Foundation -- to support the free training of region
teachers in how to use computers when attached to cable-modem connections.

The program has already trained 1,600 teachers in the Washington area.

In recent years, Comcast has wired 1,200 schools and 250 libraries within its
service territories.

The MSO's move won praise from Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and Federal
Communications Commission member Michael Copps, both of whom attended the Nov.
28 event in Arlington where Comcast's program was unveiled.

'For students to become technologically proficient, it is absolutely
essential that the teachers, the educators, are technologically proficient and
well-trained themselves. And that is what is so great about what Comcast is
doing here today -- it is making sure that the teachers are getting the training
so that they can impart their knowledge to the students so that they can become
technologically proficient,' Allen said.

Arlington has 31 public schools and 19,000 students. A total of 58 percent of
students attending Arlington's schools belong to minority groups.

Federal lawmakers and regulators have repeatedly expressed concern that
minority students have not been afforded the same access to cutting-edge
Internet technology as affluent white students.

In his statement, Copps said Comcast's decision to wire schools and pay for
teacher training would help to close the gap between school districts that can
afford expensive technology and those that can't.

'What this event is all about is making sure that our children and their
teachers have the digital tools they need to prosper in the global information
age,' Copps said. 'I hope that other companies will follow the splendid example
that Comcast and some of the others have already made to expand opportunities
for all citizens across this land.'

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is the third-largest cable operator in the
United States, with 8.4 million subscribers.