Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Comcast and DHA Strives To Bridge The ‘Digital Divide’


Making ‘access’ to internet the solution to “improve” people’s lives.

Dailycsr.com – 26 July 2017 – The Executive Director of DHA, namely Denver Housing Authority, Ismael Guerrero, hears many stories like single moms searching for “higher-paying” jobs using restaurant’s WiFi, children completing their homework in computer labs after school hours or families sharing “a single smartphone”. While Ismael recounts:
“The people we serve are very resourceful in terms of what they will do to try and overcome the barriers in front of them. But as they try to lift themselves up and improve their situation, they’re facing some real challenges.”
In our modern time, besides clothing, shelter and food, “access to technology” is equally important, whereby Islmael added:
“We often say that time is money, but those two things — time and money — are what the people we serve have the least. If you’re a single mother with two kids, working two jobs and trying to get your GED, how are you going to find time to work toward better opportunities if you don’t have an internet connection?”
Therefore, this “digital divide” could turn out to be decisive factor for success or failure. Keeping this in mind, “Internet Essentials” at Comcast provides “affordable high-speed internet access” to over three million “low-income individuals”. The attempts were increased two folds in the year of 2012, whereby Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the legendary champion of Olympics, was rolled in the initiative as Internet Essentials’ “national spokesperson”.
In this manner, the reach of Internet Essentials was extended. In fact, Jackie said:
“What Comcast is doing is crucial. If you don’t give people — especially young people — the tools to develop their own potential, then we are talking about a whole generation that can be lost or that might think it has no value. But these people do have value and great potential, and they deserve the opportunity to prove it.”
Moreover, Internet Essentials reached out to “hundreds of thousands of households” who received “federal housing assistance”. It is a collaborative venture of Internet Essentials, wherein the “ConnectHome initiative” of HUD of the U.S. shares the former’s goals. As a result, low income families and individuals across fifteen cities were covered under this initiative. In the words of Julian Castro, the ex-secretary of HUD, following the partnership’s announcement:
“We’re grateful to Comcast for joining the ConnectHome initiative. [ConnectHome] has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids across the nation by giving them the tools to reach their full potential.”
However, Ismael finds that the “digital divide” is like “a river” that needs to be crossed over. While, Ismael added:
“You can wade over and hope you don’t get swept by the current, or you can walk 20 miles to get around it. But if somebody builds a bridge, you can just walk across and devote your energy and focus where it needs to be instead of worrying about how to get across the river.”
Therefore, making access widespread could only be the solution, whereby in the year of 2016, Comcast made a donation of “$100,000”. With this donation amount DHA Opportunities Centres’ “five technology hubs” underwent “major upgrades”. Ismael also said:
“Our partnership with Comcast really helps remove barriers. Internet Essentials is such a critical part of making it easier for families to be successful in improving their situation. It’s giving them access to what is on the other side of that digital bridge.”