To help bridge the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer, Comcast recently launched Internet Essentials, a comprehensive broadband adoption program that will offer discounted Internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training to families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The Internet Essentials program addresses three primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified: 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful, 2) the cost of a home computer, and 3) the cost of the Internet service.
According to the U.S. Census, 47.2% of Hispanic Households, 45.5% of African-American households, 29.5% of White households, and 19.5% of Asian households do not have Internet service. Internet Essentials participants will receive residential Internet service with download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps for $9.95 a month plus applicable taxes but no installation, activation or equipment fees. Upon enrollment, new participants will be able to purchase a netbook-style laptop computer that supports wired and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and includes the Windows 7 Starter operating system and Internet browser software for $149.99 plus tax. Participants will also have access to free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.
Earlier this month, Delaware Governor Jack Markell joined with Comcast officials to announce the launch of Internet Essentials in his state. A few days later, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President launched the program in the metro-Atlanta area. The program was first launched in Chicago and announced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on May 31.
For general information about Internet Essentials, please visit www.internetessentials.com for English and visit www.internetbasico.com for Spanish. Educators or third-parties interested in helping to spread the word can find more information at www.internetessentials.com/partner. Parents looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376, or for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995.
Cable industry communications professionals are just starting to integrate social media platforms and technology within their communications tool kit. Social media is no longer a fad but it’s still the new frontier with entertainment companies experimenting regarding how to attract and drive new business through this growing and expanding technology. At the same time, as a communications professional, you need to have a presence, you can’t be absent from the social conversations that are moving at light speed on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other platforms.
Scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT, ACC’s latest webinar will expand upon the recently published ACCBrief The Social Aspects of Communication. The Brief’s author Cindy Ronzoni will explore why it’s important to be engaged in social media and offer a number of examples of how cable companies, both operators and programmers, are using this powerful new technology to both strengthen their businesses and leverage it to reach out to customers, viewers, the media and other interested parties. To print a free copy of the July 2011 ACCBrief, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/resources_briefs.php and "click" on the "July 2011 Issue" link to access the pdf.
Cindy Ronzoni is the Founder and CEO of Social Spread Media, a forward-thinking digital public relations agency specializing in social and traditional media. Her Los Angeles-based firm provides media strategy and implementation to a varied group of clientele, including The Television Critics Association, independent film and TV producers, authors, tech start-ups, and nonprofit organizations.
With more than 20 years of experience in public relations, corporate communications and public affairs, Cindy has held senior communications positions at Fox Entertainment, Fox Cable, Game Show Network (GSN) and Lifetime Networks. Cindy is reachable via email at email@example.com or at www.socialspreadmedia.com.
How ACC Members Can Participate:
Only ACC members may attend this webinar, and it is free of charge as a benefit of ACC membership. ACC members can register for this free webinar via the association’s online education portal in the members-only section of this Web site by clicking on the link to live webinars and self-paced programs.
You must be logged into the members-only area to access this portal, and you can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of this screen. Your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters. If you are not currently a member, use ACC’s trial membership and join free for your first six months.
MSNBC aired “A Stronger America: Making the Grade,” a live, two-hour discussion on strengthening America through education, from the Detroit School of Arts on August 14. The special, hosted by MSNBC Anchor Tamron Hall and co-hosted by MSNBC contributor and TheGrio.com Correspondent Jeff Johnson, brought together a roundtable of prominent figures to discuss parenting and early education, how to help American students compete on a global scale, the effects of the economy on education and opportunity and other essential topics. The town hall included an audience of nearly 800 students and teachers from across the Detroit area.
Viewers were able to participate during the town hall in live chats on MSNBC’s Stronger America Facebook page, and were able to participate through the use of the #MakingTheGrade Twitter hashtag. In advance of the two-hour special, MSNBC aired 3-4 education-related segments each day across its various platforms, and the segments were available to view on MSNBC’s partner sites, TheGrio.com and iVillage.com.
To create this event MSNBC cooperated with the Detroit Public Schools, a district undergoing historic change to transform a system that leaders say have been failing too many of its students. The district has implemented a five-year academic plan, where students are seeing a more rigorous academic curriculum in every school, and has expanded its process to authorize additional high-performing charter schools, including five that will be open this fall.
Clips and additional information on the show are available at StrongerAmerica.MSNBC.com. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, an organization that strengthens communities in order to provide vulnerable children and families with better opportunities, was a sponsor of Making the Grade.
Today, Friday August 19th is the final day to register for FORUM at the $800 conference rate. On August 20 the registration fee increases by $100 to $900. ACC’s conference, FORUM 2011, October 5-6, in New York City is the event during Diversity Week for industry executives who work in any phase of communications. To register, please go to the FORUM 2011 page and click on the FORUM 2011 registration link. Again, through today only, the registration fee is just $800 for the two-day conference, held in the Hilton New York and includes your paid registration plus a ticket to the closing Beacon Awards luncheon and reception.
FORUM 2011 Co-chairs Catherine Frymark, senior vice president, communications, Discovery Communications and Reinaldo Llano, director, corporate community relations, Bright House Networks are pleased to announce that NCTA’s President and CEO Michael Powell will open Thursday’s morning general session with his Washington Update, sharing his views on what to expect from policy makers on Capitol Hill, at the FCC, in the White House and during the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections. His presentation will be immediately followed by a panel of senior cable executives who will discuss how they view, value and leverage their communications and public affairs teams to keep them ahead of the competition, drive awareness and make a difference. To view the complete FORUM 2011 schedule, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/forum_agenda.php.
Additionally you may also reserve your room for FORUM 2011 and Diversity Week. Single/Double rooms at the Hilton New York are priced at $344/night plus tax. You must make your reservation by Friday, September 9 to receive this rate. You can make a room reservation by calling 1-800 HILTONS, and reference Cable Diversity Week to receive the group rate.
Room reservations may also be made at the Hilton New York online by going to, http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/N/NYCNHHH-NCDW-20110930/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG. This registration page is specifically designed for all executives attending any of the events during Cable’s Diversity Week, including FORUM. For additional information or to join the FORUM 2011 planning committee, contact Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373.
BET Networks will honor the legacy of the civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special day of programming on BET and CENTRIC in celebration of the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 28. Both networks will air MLK Memorial Dedication with President Obama live and commercial free at noon on the 28th. The daylong programming celebration will also feature that night the debuts of the program Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK, a news special that traces the lineage of King’s role in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Michelle Obama On a Mission: Impact Africa, a documentary that chronicles the First Lady’s historic visit to Africa.
Senior cable communications professionals from across the country gathered at the NCTA building in Washington, D.C., on August 18 to serve as final round judges for the 2011 Beacon Awards.
Pete Abel, Suddenlink Communications
Support ACC by becoming a corporate member! For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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