Internet Is Essential
Comcast is the digital divide.

It can shape how we look at the world—especially how we look at one another.

Take action
If Comcast truly understands that the Internet is Essential, as they claim with their promotional internet package, they must act now to get ALL students and families online. Join this urgent fight by adding your voice here
WHY INTERNET IS ESSENTIAL
For millions of children across the United States, access to public education is now locked behind the digital divide. With schools across the nation closing their doors and transitioning to online learning due to the coronavirus crisis, students and families have been forced to figure out how to get online. For hundreds of thousands without an internet connection, this has meant scouring parking lots, outside restaurants, or neighbors’ driveways to access free high-speed internet.

At the start of the crisis, communities pushed big telecommunications companies like Comcast to expand free internet services, and won major changes: Comcast opened up public wireless hotspots to families, sped up their bottom-tier broadband service, and offered two month free access to their discount internet service.

But the cracks in those offerings are becoming more and more apparent. Two months of discount service isn’t sufficient for what we need when millions have lost their jobs in an unprecedented pandemic. The speeds of Internet Essentials, Comcast’s discount program, are still way too slow for multiple kids and caregivers to get online. Undocumented families, homeless families, or families facing eviction are still struggling to get online or stay online. And in the districts where Comcast is working to get kids online for the school year, they are charging those cash-strapped districts anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars – even though Comcast is making immense profits on its broadband services during the pandemic.

Our Demands
Comcast has the power to make the internet free, fast, and accessible for families who need it.

After a free two-month promotion, that Comcast has the power to extend or cancel at will, families are forced to pay for low-speed internet they can’t afford. Comcast should guarantee free internet for all families that can’t afford it until the end of the pandemic.

At 25 mbps, students using Internet Essentials can barely hold a connection for video calls. If there’s more than one student in the house or a parent working from home, Internet Essentials becomes essentially useless. Comcast should stop exploiting low-income families with low-speed internet and advertising it as a solution for internet access. Increase the speed of Internet Essentials to 100 mbps permanently.

In big cities like DC and Detroit, Philly and Oakland and beyond, Comcast could get millions online right now by opening up their residential wireless hotspots for our children and families. Additionally, Comcast should make Internet Essentials accessible to far more people. It can do that by dropping its eligibility requirements that block those who struggle to pay for sky-high internet packages from applying.

Stories
Across the country, thousands of students are missing from their virtual classrooms or forced to search for wifi hotspots in parking lots because they don’t have access to quality internet. Many more are paying for internet they can’t afford, and are not receiving support to get their kids online.
If you are struggling to get online

Kimberly, Parent in Philadelphia

My experience this past spring with internet connections

...had my family crossing their fingers every day hoping that we would be able to connect to virtual classes. Several times a week, my kids would either become disconnected from their virtual classes, or not able to sign-in at all, because we weren't receiving promised fast internet speeds.

These poor internet connections led to students missing out on lessons, lessons having to be retaught, wasting valuable learning time, and made some students so deeply frustrated they just stopped logging in.

Angel, Philadelphia School Teacher

My students come to me already having major academic gaps

...in their schooling, some of my 8th graders are at a 4th grade reading level, and that was before the pandemic. That was before the switch to virtual learning. So how am I supposed to catch up my students when their internet keeps dropping?"

Ismael, Philadelphia
Parent and School Teacher

I have four school-age boys

... I’m privileged enough to be able to afford the internet, to have so many active connections at one time and I can barely go forward with that … we’re living check to check … we can barely even afford the internet necessary for our own family.

Featured Media

Do you use Comcast’s Internet Essentials program?
Have you been experiencing difficulties getting your kids online and want to tell your story? Do you have a question or want to learn more about the digital divide? Drop us a line below