Comcast recently announced that it is partnering with the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to launch a new program for schools throughout the state to connect large numbers of low-income K-12 students to the Internet at home, free of charge.

Washington’s K–12 Internet Access Program allows students and their families who previously didn’t have internet access to connect to online learning from home.

OSPI is taking advantage of Internet Essentials, a Comcast program designed for low-income families and individuals to acquire access to the internet, to support Washington’s K–12 Internet Access Program. The Comcast portion of the OSPI program will serve up to 38,000 qualifying low-income families with free internet service through the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic school year. This makes this program instantly available to 5,500 K-12 student households in the Highline School District.

“Our services have never been more important, and we’re doing everything we can to keep people connected to the internet during this unprecedented time,” said Rodrigo Lopez, Region Senior Vice President, Comcast Washington. “We’re working to ensure that households are equipped for students to learn and stay informed at home and are proud to partner with Superintendent Reykdal to help keep kids connected through our Internet Essentials program.”

Funding for the Washington’s K–12 Internet Access Program comes from the federal CARES Act. To help with COVID-related costs, Congress provided $195 million to Washington’s school districts and $21 million to OSPI for statewide coordination and support. The $195 million has already been provided to districts to address COVID-related needs. For more information, visit: https://www.k12.wa.us/about-ospi/press-releases/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-resources/k%E2%80%9312-internet-access-program

About Internet Essentials:
Since August 2011, Internet Essentials has connected millions of low-income households to the Internet, most for the very first time. During that period, the program has grown from focusing on bridging the “homework gap” for school-age children to addressing digital equity issues for all Americans. The program offers low-cost, high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax, provides access to free digital skills training in print, online, and in person, and includes the option to purchase a low-cost Internet-ready computer.

For individuals and organizations interested in becoming a partner, please visit: https://partner.internetessentials.com to order free collateral materials. To apply, go to: www.internetessentials.com using any web-connected device, including mobile phones. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. In addition, there are two dedicated phone numbers: 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.