A story in today’s Washington Post should serve as an embarrassment to Canadian telecommunications policy makers and industry leaders.
As the article describes, Comcast announced an expansion of its $10 per month Internet Essentials service that targets low income households with school aged children. Internet Essentials is Comcast’s “Connect 2 Compete” product that provides low-priced broadband to homes with students eligible for school lunch programs, as well as a voucher providing discounted access to refurbished computers.
Broadcasting & Cable wrote:
Since the program’s launch, says Comcast, there have been a number of enhancements, including expanding eligibility, doubling broadband speeds, boosted digital literacy training, and streamlining the approval process.
Comcast will continue the offer through the end of the 2013-2014 school year and the discount will continue to be available to participating families so long as they continue to have an eligible student in the household.
How do kids from low income households stand a chance when so many jobs require basic computer skills?
Will Canada’s elusive National Digital Strategy include a component to target getting low-income households online? Will the private sector demonstrate the leadership to address this affordability gap?