Comcast this week launched a campaign that links Internet Essentials, its high-speed internet adoption initiative for low-income households, with members of the Conference of Western Attorneys General and focuses on online safety for seniors, parents and children.
In Arizona and New Mexico, Comcast said it will partner with both State Attorneys General to raise awareness about online safety, building on a similar effort launched last year with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Comcast said the campaign follows recent announcements from the Federal Trade Commission that estimate scammers extracted nearly $1 billion from Americans last year alone, with more than $240 million coming way either online or via email.
In connection, Comcast also announced it is providing support to several national nonprofits focused on internet safety education and research, including Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI); Common Sense Media; and Older Adults Technology Services (OATS).
“We welcome the opportunity to combine our Internet Essentials program with Attorneys General across the nation to provide low-income seniors, parents, and children with the tools and knowledge they need to be safe online,” David Cohen, Comcast ‘s senior executive VP and chief diversity officer, said in a statement. “This is an issue that cuts across party lines. There is a universal desire on the part of law enforcement officials to protect Americans from the potential risks of being online. We also want to address the fear, which is the number one barrier to broadband adoption, that prevents some seniors and families from connecting to the Internet’s life-changing resources.”
“Attorneys General across state and party lines are responsible for protecting citizens from online scams and other predatory behavior,” added Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General and president of the National Association of Attorneys General. “I commend Comcast for their work to protect seniors online by providing these educational materials to our members. This is a true example of a public-private partnership that benefits all of the members of our communities.”
“Older adults are often vulnerable to exploitation by those who prey on the goodness, financial insecurity, or trusting nature of seniors,” said Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General and Chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. “My office is dedicated to protecting Arizona seniors from abuse and exploitation. I’m proud to work with Comcast and their Internet Essentials program to help arm our seniors and parents with the tools they need to safely take advantage of all the internet has to offer.”
As of August 2017, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than 4 million low-income Americans in 1 million households to the internet at home.