About a third of American citizens don't have broadband access to the Internet despite an increasingly digital world.
Comcast, working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Charleston Digital Corridor, local non-profit groups and school districts, is trying to change that.
The company's Internet Essentials program provides affordable broadband access to families with children in free and reduced lunch programs in their schools. The Digital Corridor is joining Comcast by requiring the companies that emerge from its small business incubator programs leave behind enough funding to extend the Internet Essentials program to one family for a year. Nearly 80 companies have come through the incubator in the three years it has been in operation, and Founder and Executive Director Ernest Andrade said more are on the way.
Crystal Thomas and her two children have benefited from the Internet Essentials Program since January, and Thomas said without the program her children would not be able to complete their school work because they wouldn't otherwise have Internet access.
More than 6,000 families in Charleston County alone are eligible for the program, according to information provided by Comcast. Another 2,465 families in Berkeley County and 410 families in Dorchester County also qualify.
For more information about signing up for the program visit www.internetessentials.com.