RS1: Houston

Comcast helps bridge digital divide

This is an informational article pertaining to Comcast’s efforts in bridging the digital divide. It begins by painting the picture of some of the struggles that individuals on the wrong side of the digital divide face. Leinfelder states, “They linger outside churches and park near libraries, only to capture a Wi-Fi signal to complete their homework or submit a job application.” (para. 1), with “they” referring to those belonging to a lower socioeconomic group and lacking internet access. After getting through some statistics of the shockingly low numbers of low-income households that have internet access, the author begins to emphasize the importance of internet access. To do this Leinfelder cites David Cohen, senior executive vice president for Comcast, stating “In our economy today, in our world today, the internet is essential.” (para. 6). Leinfelder later begins to introduce the efforts by Comcast to help bridge the digital divide through “providing low-income communities with internet access and digital literacy training.” (para. 5). The program they offer “allows qualifying families to pay $9.95 a month plus tax for internet” (para. 10) and in Houston alone has “connected 29,400 households” (para. 11). In addition to the initial efforts from Comcast, they have continued to provide assistance and the program has “expanded that eligibility nine times” (para. 14). Towards the end of the article the author acknowledges that smartphones can provide internet access and more of lower-income households have access to these, but also states that “they don’t provide computer literacy skills needed for most jobs” (para. 22). Even with all of these things in mind, more efforts need to be taken to close the digital divide “because $10 a month is still a lot for low-income families” (para. 24) and also, Molock with Bridging the Digital Divide, doesn’t see “Comcast advertising this program in the low-income communities” (para. 25).

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