Like so many before me and after, my search for a better future led me to the Army. It was a scary prospect, but when I arrived at Ft. Leonard Wood, I was amazed at how many people were like me.
No, they weren’t all Black women, and no, they weren’t all from the suburbs of Philadelphia. But I was surrounded by people teeming with resilience and strength—soldiers who had overcome more challenges and obstacles than one person should have to—who supported one another and took pride in their work, down to the smallest of details. The Army wasn’t a lifelong calling for me, but its core values have been.
In my civilian career, I work for Comcast, a company guided by values instilled by our founder, U.S. Navy Veteran Ralph Roberts.
Those values—integrity, respect, inclusion, and giving back—and a sense of duty to the communities we serve, led Comcast to create Internet Essentials, our low-cost, high-speed Internet program for low-income households.
Those values inform the company’s commitment to hiring 21,000 Veterans and military community members by the end of 2021. And, responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Comcast will help connect as many Americans as possible to vital work, health, and social information.
Those same values led Comcast CEO Brian Roberts to pledge a deeper commitment to digital equity as a means for economic mobility. At the center of that commitment is the Internet Essentials program.
Comcast Internet Essentials
Internet Essentials customers receive a high-speed internet service for $9.95 per month + tax. In response to the current COVID-19 health crisis, all new Internet Essentials customers who apply and are approved by December 31, 2020, will receive two months of free service.
They also receive:
- The option to purchase a subsidized computer for less than $150.
- Free in-person, online, and printed digital literacy training materials and classes.
Who Qualifies for Internet Essentials?
Individuals qualify if they:
- Are eligible for public assistance programs, like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others.
- For a full list of accepted documents, please visit https://www.InternetEssentials.com/get-help.
- Live in an area where Comcast internet service is available.
- Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet within the last 90 days (through December 31, 2020, Comcast is temporarily offering amnesty to all households with a past due balance owed to Comcast for the purpose of connecting to Internet Essentials).
- It’s fast, easy, and simple to apply by visiting InternetEssentials.com on your mobile device, or by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-SOLO-995 for Spanish)
Like many Americans, Veterans depend on the internet to access vital resources like benefits, education and employment. When I transitioned from active duty, I relied on VA and other Veteran-serving organizations for support. I still do, too. VA helped me earn two degrees and purchase a home, things I never thought possible before I joined the Army.
As more Veterans’ services become available online, it’s easier than ever to research and access the benefits we earned by wearing the uniform. From applying for VA benefits to taking online classes, video chatting with doctors, or keeping up with old battle buddies, the list seems endless. Being connected to the Internet, and having the tools and skills to use it, opens up countless possibilities, and Comcast Internet Essentials is a great way to get started.
Army Veteran Davida Riggins is an operations manager at Comcast Business, a leader in the Veterans Network Employee Resource Group, and an active volunteer ambassador for the Internet Essentials program.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.