Connect2Compete (C2C) announced that it has completed its partnership agreement, which was first announced last month, with Comcast to help the company provide additional choices for affordable computer equipment.
C2C is a public/private initiative, championed by the Federal Communications Commission and launched last year in partnership with the cable industry, to narrow the digital divide by providing free digital literacy training, discounted high-speed Internet and affordable computers for low-income Americans.
The partnership with Comcast will offer Comcast Internet Essentials program customers an opportunity to purchase computers for $150 through Redemtech’s GoodPC brand. Redemtech refurbishes used computers, complete with Microsoft software, warranty, technical support and free shipping to all eligible families.
“Once considered a luxury, owning a computer and an Internet connection have become absolutely essential to getting a job, succeeding in school and participating in today’s society, yet 60 percent of low-income households still lack a desktop or laptop computer,” said C2C CEO Zach Leverenz. “When citizens have access to technology and training, incredible transformation can occur in their lives and in our economy. This partnership involving Comcast, C2C and Redemtech will help low-income families and children gain the equipment and essential digital literacy skills that will have a transformative impact.”
The partnership will take flight in test markets this fall and will continue to leverage the combined audience and expertise of officials from the government and non-profit sectors with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.
"As research indicates, the lack of a computer in the home is one of the primary causes for the digital divide,” said Comcast executive vice president David Cohen. “Our partnership with Connect2Compete and Redemtech helps brings new, affordable computer hardware options to families looking to get connected to the Internet at home."
Comcast’s Internet Essentials, which launched last year, is available to families with children participating in the National School Lunch Program across Comcast’s service area, which includes 39 states and the District of Columbia. Since the launch of the program in 2011, more than 100,000 families – or 400,000 Americans – have enrolled, and more than 11,000 discounted computers have been distributed.
Internet Essentials made its debut with a downstream speed of 1.5 Mbps, but the speed has been increased to up to 3 Mbps on the downstream and 768 kbps on the upstream.
In April, Comcast announced several enhancements to the service, including offering Internet Essentials to families that have children that receive reduced lunches at school instead of just to children who received free lunches.