According to the Pew Internet & American Life Projects 2009 Home Broadband Adoption study and the Broadband Imperatives for African Americans report spearheaded by NBCSL and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, there is a disproportionate rate of broadband accessibility and adoption among African American communities. The newly formed Fellowship between Comcast and NBCSL will provide support for two graduate level public policy fellows to develop public policy recommendations to increase broadband adoption and use by African Americans.
The recommendations developed by the Fellowship will further direct the efforts of NBCSL in authoring recommendations to Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as they develop national and local solutions to alleviate disparities in broadband access, adoption, and use.
Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen presented the Comcast Foundations financial contribution to NBCSL President Calvin Smyre, creating the Fellowship during NBCSLs Joint Minority Legislative Broadband Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 5, 2009.
There’s no reason why America can’t become the most connected nation on earth, but to do so it will take hard work and leadership, said Cohen. Comcast is proud to partner with NBCSL to continue progress toward a connected America that includes all of its communities.
This is where scholarship and public policy converge to ensure that NBCSL does its part to eradicate the digital divide and provide all Americans with the benefits of broadband, said NBCSL President and Georgia State Representative Calvin Smyre. NBCSL has been a progressive leader in addressing economic, social and political issues that face Americans --particularly African Americans.
Healthcare, juvenile justice, education and international trade are among the policies that NBCSL will address at the state, local and federal levels. Comcast’s partnership with the NBCSL further enables Comcast to create opportunities and empower the communities it serves.
Comcast powers dreams in the communities it serves by providing access to innovative technology, volunteering time, giving financial support and partnering with organizations to make communities stronger. Its new endeavor with NBCSL further solidifies that commitment. The company focuses its community investment initiatives on building tomorrow’s leaders, promoting community service and expanding digital literacy. Since 2001, Comcast has provided $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind support to national and local non-profit organizations in 39 states and Washington D.C. The company has made a $1.2 million commitment to sponsor the One Economy Corporations Digital Connectors program for three years, beginning in 2009.