How Comcast, local organizations are bridging the digital divide in Colorado
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Access to high-speed internet and digital skills training is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, making connectivity more important than ever. PBS12 recently took a closer look at how internet access is vital to participating in an increasingly digital world in “Bridging the Digital Divide,” a program presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. The program features interviews with several Denver-based organizations, leaders, teachers, and parents about the importance of technology access and digital skills trainings.
Watch the full program below:
The 30-minute program shines a spotlight on the power of connectivity in Colorado, the importance of digital equity, and what’s being done to close the digital divide in our communities.
“Digital equity is access, devices, instruction, and the ability to erase fear of using all of the above,” said Trey Grimes, theater and technical director for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. “When I look at that stage, I see decades and decades of history. I see an opportunity for the future. I see that opportunity for us to narrow the gap in that digital divide.”
Broderick Johnson, Comcast’s executive vice president of public policy and executive vice president of digital equity, spoke to PBS12 about Comcast’s ongoing commitment to connecting more people to what matters most to them.
“There are communities in this country that haven’t had access to the internet. Over time, that’s also meant not having access to devices, and not having digital skills training,” Johnson said. “There’s been this digital divide that has evolved over time and gotten worse in many respects.”
For over a decade, Comcast has been on the forefront of closing the digital divide. The Internet Essentials program is the largest and most successful broadband adoption initiative in the industry. Since 2011, Comcast has connected more than 560,000 Coloradans through Internet Essentials, many for the first time.
“Connectivity is essential,” said Leo Alirez, founder and executive director of Life-Line Colorado. Speaking with PBS12 at Denver’s Youth Empowerment Center, a Comcast Lift Zone location, Alirez opened up about the role community centers serve to help people access technology.
“Individuals can come here and be able to work on their homework, work on trainings for jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities as well,” Alirez said.
Laura Granada, a mother from Colombia who moved to Colorado in 2019 with her husband and daughter, shared how connectivity helped her family work and learn remotely, as well as keep in contact with their family during the pandemic.
“The internet allows us to stay connected to our family, with our friends, and in our professional life, too,” she said. “It’s very good to stay in touch with people that we are missing.”
To help get more Coloradans connected to the internet, Comcast is participating in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households a credit of up to $30 per month ($75 per month on Tribal lands) toward internet and mobile services. Paired with Xfinity Internet Essentials service, eligible Comcast customers could receive free internet service with the ACP benefit. Learn more about program eligibility and how to sign up here.
In partnership with Mile High Mamas
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