Portland Community College Foundation partners with Comcast to provide Internet access to low-income Students
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Portland Community College Foundation has entered into a six-month partnership with Comcast’s Oregon/SW Washington region to purchase internet access for 300 of its students. The arrangement takes advantage of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, designed for low-income families and individuals to acquire access to the internet.
PCC has moved classes and business operations online while closing its physical campuses and centers. The impact of this has created significant disruption for large portions of the college’s most-vulnerable students. As a result, the Foundation’s board recently approved $750,000 to meet students’ most basic needs through emergency grants, grocery store vouchers, computers and internet service through Comcast.
- PCC has moved to remote operations and online classes. The college has put together resources for students and staff related to the college providing online classes and services.
“As our classes have moved online for the term, we know how critical it is right now to get students connected,” said Ann Prater, PCC Foundation Executive Director, “PCC has already given out 400 laptops, with more being ordered. We are in the process of getting 300 students connected to Comcast’s Internet Essentials.”
Since its inception in 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than 52,000 low-income households in the Oregon/SW Washington region. The program charges $9.95/month, but in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Comcast is offering two months free for customers who sign up before May 13. People who qualify for a broad range of federal assistance programs including Pell Grants, Medicaid, HUD-assisted housing, SNAP, and SSI, among others, are eligible to apply for Internet Essentials.
“During this unprecedented time, it is vital for Oregonians to stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Comcast’s Marion Haynes, Vice-President of External Affairs for Comcast Oregon/SW Washington. “We’re proud to partner with Portland Community College to help get students connected through our Internet Essentials program.”