Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

comcast internet essentials program veterans davidlcohen portland or 2
David L. Cohen speaks at an event in Portland, OR. Comcast

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Comcast hosted a special event in Portland, Oregon to broaden awareness of its Internet Essentials program. The program, which provides internet service to low-income households for just $10 per month, now reaches over six million people in the United States.

The Internet Essentials program started in 2011 with the goal of connecting children living in low-income households. Since then, it has expanded to several new groups including seniors with disabilities and, now, U.S. veterans.

David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer of the Comcast Corporation, told Digital Trends that veterans are particularly vulnerable to losing internet access. “They’ve been in the service. They’ve been away for a couple of years. They come back, and many of them don’t have homes. Homelessness in the veteran popular is disproportionate to that population. They may be coming to a strange community, they may not have a job, so they don’t have income.”

And once access to the internet is lost, it can be difficult to regain. Both mobile data and overland internet connections are difficult for low-income populations to afford, yet access to the internet provides access to many opportunities such as finding a job and housing.

“70 percent of homework assignments require the internet to complete them,” Cohen explained. “80 percent of Fortune 500 companies only give you the opportunity to apply for a job online.” That puts serious hurdles in front of anyone who lacks internet access. They simply can’t find the opportunities they’re looking for.

Access to the internet is only part of the equation, however. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program also works with numerous non-profit partners to connect people with programs that can help them learn crucial skills or purchase an affordable computer. Even people who don’t use Internet Essentials can search for free classes on the program’s website.

Yet that, too, is part of the paradox that makes reconnecting people to the internet difficult. People lacking access of course can’t visit Comcast’s website to find classes. Cohen said the company tackles that problem by working with local non-profits to raise awareness. “That is the secret sauce if the entire Internet Essentials program,” Cohen explained. “You don’t do this by just issuing a press release. We’ve created a web of non-profit and governmental partners who can help us inform whatever the targeted population is.” Two such partners, which work with Comcast on a national scale, are the Psych Armor Institute for veterans and The Salvation Army.

Over a million veterans are now eligible for Internet Essentials, and Cohen says Comcast is doing all it can to make sure word of the program reaches them. “So far, we’ve made a difference for six million low income Americans who’ve signed up for this program,” Cohen said. “There are a lot more. But we’ve made a difference for those six million Americans. And we’ll make a difference for those low-income veterans.”

Go to Comcast’s Internet Essentials website to check your eligibility and sign up.

Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Business

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Computing

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 
Computing

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Computing

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.