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David Cohen
Comcast executive David Cohen

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen took the stage at The Atlantic’s Silicon Valley Summit this morning to announce a new partnership with Khan Academy to help bring broadband internet access to underprivileged communities.

The popular online education site will partner with Comcast’s Internet Essentials program in what the company is describing as a “multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership.” As part of the plan, the company launched an Internet Essentials website that includes links to resources like Khan Academy for online learning.

Under the Comcast program, first announced in 2011, families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program are eligible to get broadband access for $9.95 a month. That’s not an introductory rate: so long as a family has an eligible student, internet access will stay at that price.

“Research consistently shows that the number one barrier to broadband adoption is a bucket of digital literacy issues, including a lack of understanding of the relevancy of the Internet and of the value it provides,” Cohen said in a press release. “Khan Academy is almost uniquely positioned to help lower that barrier because its content is the ultimate proof point of the value of the Internet.”

Of course, the program also broadens Comcast’s potential subscriber base to families that wouldn’t otherwise spend money on broadband.

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