Comcast and the Khan Academy, a non-profit education organization, on Monday announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership that will tie together and promote the academy’s educational content and Internet Essentials, the cable operator’s program aimed at accelerating broadband adoption for low-income families.
The commitment, billed as “one of the largest” Comcast has made to a non-profit partner, includes “hundreds of thousands” of public service announcements, significant digital promotion in English and Spanish, and an array of joint promotions that will occur around the country over the next few years.
Now in its third year, Internet Essentials is a voluntary commitment linked to Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal that targets low-income households with school-age children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the federally assisted National School Lunch Program. Qualified households receive discounted Internet service from Comcast at $9.95 per month, the option to purchase Internet-ready PCs for under $150, and access to a free Internet training.
Comcast’s new partner, the Kahn Academy, has delivered more than 330 million lessons and 1.6 billion exercise problems, and currently has 10 million users per month that complete more than 4 million exercise problems each day. Its platform provides more than 5,000 free educational videos and 100,000 practice problems in areas such as basic math to college-level Biology and Art History.
Together, they hope to connect more low-income to broadband services and educational content.
“While Comcast has made great progress connecting more than 1 million low-income Americans, or more than 250,000 families, to the Internet through our Internet Essentials program, there are many more families who are still eligible to participate, but have not yet signed up,” said Comcast SVP David Cohen, in a release. “Research consistently shows that the number one barrier to broadband adoption is a bucket of digital literacy issues, including a lack of understanding of the relevancy of the Internet and of the value it provides. Khan Academy is almost uniquely positioned to help lower that barrier because its content is the ultimate proof point of the value of the Internet.”
“In order to scale our free resources to the world, Khan Academy developed our materials on an online platform,” added Khan Academy founder Salman Khan. “This approach helps us reach millions of individuals. In order to get the full value of Khan Academy, you need access to broadband. We’re excited to partner with Comcast, so we can help expand the number of people who can gain access to our site.”