Former NFL coach Dungy talks about low-cost internet

Posted at: 10/31/2013 5:12 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy
Former NFL coach Tony Dungy

For most people, it's hard to imagine going through an entire day without the internet. But for some families, the cost keeps them from having it in their homes. That's why Comcast is offering an inexpensive internet program for families with students enrolled in free or reduced lunch programs.

Former Colts football coach Tony Dungy and Comcast Vice President David Cohen are teaming up on a trip around the U.S. to tell people about the Essentials Program for low income families. They stress that it's particularly important for education.

"Everyone doesn't have that same ability at home," Dungy said. "That's really what this program is about, kind of trying to level the playing field."

Dungy says all kids should have the same opportunities in school, no matter how much money their parents make at their jobs. And the internet is a huge part of the learning process.

"Many parents said they never thought they would have the opportunity," Dungy said. "I couldn't afford 50 to 75 dollars a month for internet and to hear them say, my kids can grow. It's so gratifying."

Anyone with a child in free or reduced lunch programs can qualify for the Essentials Program that will cost just $9.95 a month. In New Mexico, that's more than 65 percent of students, adding up to over 228,000 families.

Comcast officials say when teachers hand out homework, every kid should have the same chance to get the best grade.

"They are assigning homework that they know, they are leaving two thirds of the class behind," Cohen said. "It shouldn't be acceptable in the country to be able to do that."

On top of education, people also need the internet to apply for a lot of jobs and even healthcare. The internet has become an important part of life and Comcast doesn't see that changing anytime soon.

Comcast recently enrolled their millionth person in this program.

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