Comcast is augmenting its low-cost Internet Essentials broadband tier with an enhanced online Learning Center.
The Learning Center, which is located on the Internet Essentials website, now includes a social media section, a refreshed design that features a guided tour for easier navigation and new digital literacy education videos.
The new Learning Center and videos support Comcast’s digital literacy education and awareness efforts by providing consumers with basic resources and tools on how to explore and use the Internet. The videos feature some of NBC’s “Today” Show talent, including Al Roker, Sara Haines and Jenna Wolfe. Other TV talent showcased in the videos include: Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, and NBC’s Kate Snow and Joelle Garguilo.
“When we first launched the Internet Essentials program, we knew that helping to close the digital divide would mean more than just offering discounted Internet service and computers to qualified customers,” said Susan Jin Davis, vice president of strategic services for Comcast. “We realized it would also be necessary to offer our customers resources and information that would help them use the Internet to its fullest. The enhancements made to the online Learning Center will make it easier, we believe, for first-time users to get acquainted with the Internet and introduce them to the many valuable resources that are available online, like job search tools, education and health care information.”
There are seven new digital literacy videos that can be accessed by anyone from the Learning Center on the Internet Essentials website. The videos are approximately 3 to 5 minutes in length and give step-by-step directions on topics including: “How to Search the Web,” “Email Basics,” “Educational Resources/Homework Helpers,” “Health Care Resources,” “Introduction to Social Media” and “Online Job Search Tools.”
Additional archival videos from NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, are also now available on the Learning Center and focus on Internet safety and security topics ranging from spam and spyware to cyber bullying. The Learning Center is an online portal that provides educational information like the videos, as well as a list of free in-person Internet training locations and links to other resources to help consumers create a safe, secure and fun online experience for their families.
Comcast said it had also improved the Internet safety and security software that is provided for free with Internet Essentials to include the Constant Guard Protection Suite, which includes top-rated Norton Security software, password safeguards and identity theft protection software.
Internet Essentials is a broadband adoption program that Comcast launched last year to help more students and families get online.
The service, which costs $10 a month, made its debut with a downstream speed of 1.5 Mbps, but earlier this year, the speeds were increased to 3 Mbps on the downstream and 768 kbps on the upstream.