Comcast Launches ‘Internet Essentials’ Pilot for Seniors in Boston

Similar trials underway in Palm Beach County, Philadelphia, San Francisco County, and Seattle.
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Comcast said is extending Internet Essentials, the MSO’s high-speed Intneret program for low-income homes, to senior citizens in Boston.

Comcast also said it has donated  $100,000 to Boston's Tech Goes Home for digital literacy training for seniors. The operator also donated 110 laptops to seniors at the South Boston Neighborhood House and high school students throughout the city.

Comcast has introduced a similar Seniors-focused trials of Internet Essentials in Palm Beach County, Philadelphia, San Francisco County, and Seattle.

RELATED: Comcast Expands Low-Cost Broadband for Seniors

Internet Essentials, originally a voluntary commitment linked to Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, provides high-speed Internet service (up to 10 Mbps downstream)  to those who qualify for $9.95 per month, plus subsidized computer equipment (less than $150 each) and free Internet training.

In August, Comcast announced that the program connects 750,000 families or about 3 million Americans. Comcast said about 80,000 residents in Massachusetts are on the program.

Comcast said eligible senior citizens in Boston are also in line for a 10% discount on Basic Cable TV or Digital Starter Cable TV.

"Closing the digital divide for low-income parents and children across the country and in the City of Boston has never been more important to Comcast.  Seniors, too, need internet access at home to break down barriers of isolation and connect them to their friends, family, and caregivers," David Cohen, SVP and chief diversity officer of Comcast said in a statement.

"I am pleased to be working with Comcast to bring affordable internet access to our Boston seniors," added Mayor Martin J. Walsh.  "Seniors are the fastest-growing segment of our population, and we are committed to making Boston an age-friendly city.  Our low-income seniors need both training and access to internet services, and I thank Comcast and our partners for their work to create equitable internet access for our City's seniors."

 In July, Comcast inked a partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative to expand Internet Essentials to about 2 million HUD-assisted homes within the MSO’s service territory. It recently named Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the new national spokesperson for Internet Essentials.

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