Below is an article from the Broadband & Social Justice website [http://broadbandandsocialjustice.org] regarding a recently announced major milestone for the Comcast Corporation. Comcast’s broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials, has become the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program in the nation. Take a look at what the program entails and what it could mean for our society’s future.
Comcast Celebrates Major Progress with Its Internet Essentials Program
Comcast has a lot to celebrate this year. Last week during a breakfast reception at its office located a few steps away from Capitol Hill, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President David Cohen announced that Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program, has connected nearly 150,000 families, or 600,000 individuals since the program began 16 months ago.
Cohen also announced several new additions to the program as well as a broadband adoption competition among its partner school districts, which will coincide with the cable giant’s 50th anniversary.
What’s New for Internet Essentials?
Starting in the spring, Comcast’s Internet Essentials will expand its eligibility requirements to include families with low-income students who attend private schools and parochial schools, as well as those who are homeschooled. At its inception, only low-income families with students who attended public schools and received free or reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program were eligible to participate in Internet Essentials. With this announcement, 2.6 million students and their families will now be able to sign up for Comcast’s affordable broadband.
Later this year, qualified Internet Essentials households will have the option to sign up for Internet Essentials using a “simple online form,” in addition to calling a Comcast call center, Cohen said.
Cohen also mentioned that Comcast will offer Internet Essentials pre-paid gift cards called “Opportunity Cards” to nonprofit organizations and others who want to give the gift of broadband to a household of their choice.
Furthermore, expanding the ways in which new Internet Essentials participants can receive digital literacy training is another addition to the program. Although connecting nearly 600,000 children and their families to broadband is worth celebrating, Comcast realizes that just offering affordable Internet and more hardware options such as laptops and desktops is not enough to bridge the digital divide.
Cohen said that Internet Essentials and its existing digital literacy partners across the United States now offer in-person digital training in addition to its print and online training services.
Since implementing the face-to-face trainings six months ago, more than 10,000 people have attended sessions, which is 10 times more than the number of people that participated in the program’s original digital literacy model within the first 12 months of Internet Essentials.
Comcast Commemorates 50 Years in the Cable Business with Laptop Giveaways
November 2013 marks Comcast’s 50th Anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, Comcast’s 4,000 partner school districts, which consist of more than 30,000 schools across the nation, will compete to be one of 15 school districts to win an Internet Essentials Gold Medal School District of Excellence Award, as well as 50 laptops for their district, according to Cohen.
The top 15 school districts will win based on their efforts in connecting their district’s students to at-home broadband. Given the latest trends in K-12 education, particularly in middle schools and high schools, it is imperative that students have a reliable and consistent broadband connection in their home.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released a report that detailed how digital technology plays a role in 21st Century classrooms. The report found that 67 percent of the middle school and high school teachers interviewed said that the Internet had a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents. Additionally, 57 percent of the teachers said that the Internet also had a “major impact” when it came to engaging and interacting with their students.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Pew Internet Associate Research Director Kristen Purcell said, “Teachers whose students come from the lowest income households feel they are at a disadvantage.” Cohen said that Pew’s report also found that 79 percent of middle school and high school educators give homework that requires an Internet connection, even though only 18 percent of their students have access to broadband at home.
Based on the progress that Comcast has made since launching Internet Essentials in 2011, it is evident that the company is making strides to fulfill its Federal Communications Commission merger condition of providing affordable Internet to our nation’s low-income communities. While 600,000 new broadband adopters may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of millions that still have not adopted the transformative technology, it is a great effort at getting the nation closer to closing the digital divide.
http://broadbandandsocialjustice.org/2013/03/comcast-celebrates-major-progress-with-its-internet-essentials-program/?utm_source=BBSJ+Newsletter+March+11%2C+2013&utm_campaign=BBSJ+Newsletter+March+11%2C+2013&utm_medium=emailPosted in Access and Adoption, Broadband, Digital Divide | Tagged broadband adoption, Broadband and Social Justice, Comcast, Internet Essentials | Leave a comment February 27, 2013
Broadband and Social Justice recently featured on their website an article regarding the topic of minority entrepreneurship in the broadband technology industry.
The article, written by Joycelyn F. James, a graduate of the Institute for Communications Law Studies at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and Cathy Hughes Fellow for the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, takes a detailed look at how minority-owned businesses are creating content and mobile apps that serve the information needs of their communities.
Why is this important?
Studies repeatedly suggest that the Hispanic online segment is leading the mobile adoption rate, and more and more minorities, especially African American entrepreneurs, are taking advantage of the opportunities that broadband provides.
These implications are important for both Wireless carriers and industry experts to recognize if they are to understand the needs and changes of their growing consumer markets.
Take a second and read the article here: http://broadbandandsocialjustice.org/2013/02/gaining-the-digital-world-and-keeping-their-soul-how-minority-entrepreneurs-can-stimulate-broadband-adoption-part-i/.
Posted in Broadband, Diversity, Entrepreneurship, Hispanic | Tagged BBSJ, Broadband and Social Justice, entrepreneurs, Hispanic online segment, minority entrepreneurship, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council | Leave a comment February 20, 2013
Yesterday, the Nuclear Energy Institute began hosting a premier nuclear industry event in Naples, Florida – a state where the topic of nuclear energy is becoming more and more crucial.
The event, called Communicating Nuclear Issues, features NEI’s members, who are executives and leaders from the industry, and examines the nexus between communications and governmental affairs while focusing on salient issues expected to emerge in the 113th Congress, as well as key issues in state legislatures. The agenda includes both federal and state leaders, key supplier representatives, industry executives and key voices in the media who cover and comment on politics and nuclear energy policy.
Why is This Important?
Nuclear energy is becoming a vital part of America’s energy portfolio, and it is a resource that already provides more than 10 percent of Florida’s electricity. The demand is and will likely continue to grow.
Experts and industry leaders are projecting that the United States’ electricity needs will increase 22 percent by 2035. In order to meet these demands, the nation will need to take into consideration an approach that includes a range of solutions. There’s a good chance that nuclear energy will be one of those solutions, partly because of the cost-effective angle it provides.
Not only is it proving to be cost-effective, but nuclear energy is also known to create thousands of jobs and stimulate the economy, which is crucial to a state like Florida that has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.
What is Nuclear Energy?
According to the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, nuclear energy is “a cost-effective and reliable energy source, producing affordable, on-demand electricity at an 89 percent production rate. Nuclear energy also supports clean air, land, water and wildlife, providing the majority of our nation’s emission-free energy. Safely serving as a workhorse of the country’s electric grid for more than four decades, nuclear energy is essential to our everyday lives.”
NEI’s two-day event began yesterday with a panel titled: “Communicating Nuclear Issues: Are States Again Incubators for Policy?”
NEI is the policy organization for the nuclear technologies industry. To learn more about what they are doing in the nuclear energy industry, visit: http://www.nei.org.Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged CASEnergy, Florida, NEI, nuclear energy | Leave a comment February 7, 2013
Broadband will undoubtedly become more prevalent in our national dialogue, and the Information Technology & Information Foundation (ITIF) is starting off the year with an upcoming event to discuss the current state of America’s broadband. The event takes place Tuesday, February 12 at 9:00 AM ET.
I encourage you to join and get involved in the discussion.
Below is information on the event, or you can visit their website here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=tvgmjbdab&v=001dTY-NYldfV2reu0fhdlDdqaB9BJl3Efcum-HwykFzyj2LjQl0FONDxsNJbiFVcXWhEoBmbm1rZVPfq3q1DRRxgHeGbWR-fZpb9fZ5rcYC2c8YD-2oEB61A%3D%3D
|Where Do America’s Broadband Networks Really Stand?
|Where do America’s broadband networks really stand in relation to those in other countries? This topic is hotly debated, but a great deal of confusion still exists. Much of the popular analysis is out-of-date, poorly-focused or analytically deficient. In fact, much of the analysis appears to cherry-pick the data in order to reach a foreordained conclusion. Moreover, it is difficult to draw comparisons between countries on broadband performance and the implicit impact policy plays because of so many differences in other factors, including computer ownership and urban population density.
A new report from ITIF will thoroughly examine the state of international broadband to create an accurate and meaningful picture of where America stands in the critical, innovation-enabling dimensions of broadband deployment, adoption, performance, and price, highlighting the areas that need improvement and those in which the U.S. is doing well. Join us for a discussion of the report with a panel of international broadband experts.
Mindel De La Torre
Posted in Broadband | Tagged broadband, Information Technology & Information Foundation, ITIF | Leave a comment February 1, 2013
Below is a re-post of Latinovations’s La Plaza Guest Blog on the Hispanic market as it relates to the U.S. economy, its growth potential, and the investment share and business priority barriers it faces despite becoming a major purchasing power.
“If the [U.S.] Hispanic market were a nation, it would soon be the 11th largest economy in the world,” global CEO Sol Trujillo told the Wall Street Summit of 2010. That would place it on the list right near Russia, Canada and Australia. At that size, and with tremendous growth potential—the Hispanic market grew 43% in the last 10 years—how can this market still seem invisible so much of the time, failing to get the investment share and business priority it ought to have?
The answer lies in a seriously flawed system for gathering Hispanic sales data. What market researchers call the “sales undercount” is estimated at between 40 to 60 percent of the true volume of Hispanic consumer retail sales, depending on the brand or product category.
How does this occur? Most consumer product and service companies gather all sorts of demographic, psychographic and behavioral data and have made great strides in marketing and advertising to these customers. But it remains hard to measure the results: what percentage of corporate sales and growth is generated by Hispanics?
Corporate managers rely on Hispanic retail sales data provided by syndicated measurement companies, which quantify how much of a product is purchased by a given demographic group. These numbers are crucial because they measure ‘who’ purchased ‘what,’ and are used to determine business opportunity predictions, and budgets for marketing, advertising and product and service innovation.
However, Hispanic consumer retail sales data is not just flawed, it tends to be incomplete.
You can continue reading this article by visiting La Plaza’s Guest Blog here: http://blog.latinovations.com/2013/02/01/guest-bloggers-dr-jake-beniflah-and-isabel-valdes-the-u-s-hispanic-market-an-invisible-emerging-economy/.Posted in Diversity, Hispanic | Tagged Business Investment, Business priority, La Plaza Newsletter, Latinovations, Market Share, U.S. Hispanic Market | Leave a comment ← Older posts