Comcast said Thursday it has launched a program in concert with Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid to train digital navigators in Wards 7 and 8 to educate residents about internet availability and develop computer competency skills.
The digital navigators will support residents and inform them about taking advantage of the federal government’s programs Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a $30 monthly credit toward purchasing internet or mobile service and can be combined with Internet Essentials from Comcast to qualified residents with free internet service.
A Boston Consulting Group study found more than 1,500 people nationally used digital navigator services and revealed the critical role they play in closing the digital divide and reducing socioeconomic inequalities. For example, more than 65% of survey respondents said they obtained internet access or a computer or tablet at home; among Latinos and Blacks, this increased to 72%.
Plus, the study reported internet users had access to better housing, food options and jobs.
“With the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help connect as many people as possible to the internet,” said Broderick Johnson, Comcast’s executive vice president of digital equity and public policy. “The challenge we face, however, is low awareness about the ACP and many people who qualify for it also lack the digital skills required to sign up. This is why working with trusted organizations like SYC/W6MA is one of the most effective ways to get more people online and help build digital skills they need to succeed—driving transformative change for families across the District and nationwide.”