When Comcast got the go-ahead to acquire NBC, part of the deal was that the cable giant would provide low-cost computers and Internet service to poor families (as judged by those qualifying for school lunch programs).
Arkansas Community Organizations says Comcast has been non-responsive to Little Rock families seeking the promised benefits.
Comcast? Non-responsive? Surely that's a misprint. (Snark.)
A protest is scheduled today. Details follow.
Members of Arkansas Community Organizations and United Labor Unions Local 100 will put out flyers and hold signs outside Comcast Cable company’s service center at 2714 S. Shackleford in Little Rock at Noon on Thursday, January 12. Both organizations serve low-income and working families in Arkansas. As part of an agreement with the FCC over the acquisition of NBC Universal, Comcast is supposed to offer low cost internet and low cost computers to families with children enrolled in the federal school lunch program in Little Rock public schools. Yet when parents inquire about the service, they are given the run around.
The two organizations are working with groups in other cities to put pressure on the company and the FCC to implement the agreement. Computers and internet access have become as essential to families as phone service. Computer skills and knowledge of the internet are an important part of a 21st century education. Many low-income families cannot afford a computer or internet service and left behind as a result of “digital divide.”
“When I received information from my school about the new Comcast program, I was excited,” said Little Rock resident Marthella Johnson. “I called the 800 number and was told I would receive an application in the mail. That was back in August. I still have not received the application.”