Recently at Drexel University’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Comcast hosted Dr. John Horrigan, America’s preeminent researcher on broadband adoption and the former head of research for the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, to deliver a keynote address on the topic of “Philadelphia’s Digital Divide: Overcoming Obstacles & Creating Opportunities.” The well-attended program featured a panel discussion with local leaders from the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, People’s Emergency Center, Drexel University, Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center and Comcast. As part of the discussion, Dr. Horrigan reviewed his recently-released report, “Deepening Ties,” which found that having broadband access at home quickly becomes a staple in people’s daily routines and that those who have had training on the Internet and computers realize these benefits faster.
Comcast’s nationally-acclaimed broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials, has connected close to 43,000 Philadelphians to the power of affordable broadband at home. Philadelphia ranks in the top 10 metro areas across the country for the number of connections provided through Internet Essentials, and roughly 9,000 participating households are home to children in the School District of Philadelphia – the fourth-highest number of connections for any school district in the nation. You can read more about the impact Internet Essentials is making in our community in the program’s year four progress report.
Dr. Horrigan’s findings also underscore the need for digital literacy training initiatives in Philadelphia. Comcast offers free digital literacy training classes in partnership with local community organizations like LIFT-Philadelphia, Philadelphia OIC and Career Wardrobe through our Internet Essentials program and supports others through Comcast Foundation grants. Since 2011, Comcast has provided more than 3,200 individuals in Philadelphia with digital literacy training.
To view footage from Dr. Horrigan’s keynote and the panel discussion at Drexel University, you can visit Philly In Focus or watch his interview below: