Northeast Times May 21, 2015
OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, I have had the opportunity to work directly with a number of the non¬profit organizations that Comcast supports in its efforts to increase Philadelphia’s broadband penetration rates, close the digital divide and improve digital literacy skills.
A misconception to so many is that cost is the primary factor that keeps so many Philadelphians from broadband adoption, but that is not the fact. The largest barriers to Philadelphians’ adoption of broadband are their perceived lack of relevance and not understanding the value of broadband access.
Since launching the Internet Essentials Program in August 2011, Comcast has directly sponsored hundreds of digital literacy classes to thousands of Philadelphia residents for free, enabling them to learn basic computer and Internet skills.
Classes like Introduction to Computers, Computer Basics, Internet Basics and Finding and Applying for a Job Online have helped parents, the unemployed, the under-employed and many of those approximately 35 percent of Philadelphians who are on the wrong side of the digital divide, to recognize the relevancy and value of computers and Internet access at home for themselves and for their children.
Mayor Michael Nutter, the city of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia and many of Philadelphia’s leading non¬profits are working hand in hand with Comcast to raise the level of digital literacy and close the digital divide in Philadelphia.
Comcast’s efforts in Philadelphia and throughout the areas of the United States that it serves has made significant meaningful progress to close the digital divide while increasing broadband penetration rates, and they are making a positive difference for the people and, most importantly, the school children of Philadelphia.
Kevin J. Cafferky