DETROIT (WJBK) - Comcast and Detroit officials announced Wednesday that Internet services for low-income seniors will be enhanced and expanded.
Internet Essentials from Comcast is a high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income residents in the U.S. by addressing affordable Internet service, digital literacy and access to computers.
For $9.95 per month, virtually every family with children in the City of Detroit can give their children access. Now Internet Essentials is expanding that to low-income seniors. Comcast is also increasing speeds from 10 megabytes per-second to 15, and they're allowing customers the ability to use Comcast hotspots outside of their home at no extra charge.
Mayor Mike Duggan made the announcement joined by Comcast Corporation Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer David L. Cohen and six-time Olympic Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the program's national spokeswoman.
Duggan explained why it's important to fix the digital divide.
"We all know the difference in opportunity starts very young in life. Wealthier kids are going to school where they have better opportunities poorer kids don't. But imagine this - when you go home at night and it's time to do your homework, you've got to read the reports, have access to information. If we've got children who don't have that access, that gap is going to be greater and greater," he said.
He applied it to finding a job - more often than not you can only learn about them and apply online.
"If you don't have Internet access, the opportunity for jobs and employment starts to separate," Duggan said.
Comcast says through the program, they have connected 4 million low-income Americans to high-speed Internet at home.
Detroit ranks No. 8 in the top 10 cities where the program has been introduced, connecting 13,000 households and 52,000 individuals to Internet services as of June 2017.
Comcast also donated $35,000 to upgrade Internet services at the Joseph Walker-Williams Recreation Center on Rosa Parks Boulevard where the expansion announcement was made.
If you'd like to sign up for the program, call (855) 846-8376.
Or if you're able to get to a computer, you can sign up at internetessentials.com.