March 13, 2015 |
LOOKING FOR a really cheap deal for Internet access to help your schoolkids get their homework done? You can't do better than the free offer Comcast is extending for its Internet Essentials (5GB) Web service to low-income Philadelphia families with school-age children. The deal will deliver a decent broadband connection (5 Mps) to homes for six months for free. After that, the price goes up to $10 a month. The deadline for signing up is May 31. Newly pitched to parents in letters home from the school district and sure to be a burning topic at Wednesday's Family Literacy Night at 440 N. Broad St., helmed by Superintendent William Hite, the offer comes in the wake of Comcast's fourth annual review of the national Internet Essentials program designed to increase computer access and literacy.
September 25, 2014 |
Pennsylvania has redefined the concept of the snow day, announcing that schools can offer "cyber days" when kids can't make it into the classrooms. In other words, some students can kiss snow days goodbye. For up to five days a year, the "Flexible Instructional Days" pilot program will allow schools in all 501 school districts, including Philadelphia, to use nontraditional instruction methods, such as cyber school, when bad weather or other emergencies shut down school buildings.
January 16, 2014 |
Verizon Communications Inc. won a partial victory Tuesday from a federal appeals court in the long-running fight over how the government regulates broadband Internet providers. But the battle - which could affect consumers' access to a wide variety of websites and services - is far from done, according to telecommunications experts and advocates on both sides of the issue. Verizon, a leading provider of landline and wireless phone service as well as Internet access, accused the Federal Communications Commission of overreaching in its 2010 "Open Internet" order, which barred broadband providers from discriminating against or blocking any data distributed over their networks - a goal of those advocating a concept also known as network neutrality.
April 23, 2013 |
In 2013, having access to the Internet seems to be the norm, but for nearly half of Philadelphians, that's not the case. They can't surf the Web, connect with friends online, or check their e-mail because they don't have Internet at home. Research has indicated that more than 41 percent of city residents lack Internet access, and on Monday FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn announced at the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia that she is frustrated with this digital divide.
April 19, 2013 |
Cyber charter schools, watch out. The Philadelphia School District is coming for your students. Come September, the district - pending School Reform Commission approval Thursday night - will launch the Philadelphia Virtual Academy, an online school for city sixth through 12th graders. The move could net the financially distressed district millions of dollars. This year, about 6,000 city students are enrolled in cyber charters, at a cost to the school system of about $60 million.
March 7, 2013
DO YOU NEED cheap Internet access, an affordable laptop or computer classes? How about all of the above? Here's a road map for bridging the digital divide. Say you need to get online ASAP. For free. * There are 79 free computer labs (a/k/a "Keyspots") in Philadelphia, where you can take computer classes or just go online. Get more information at 3-1-1, 215-851-1990, phillykeyspots.org or @Phillykeyspots on Twitter. * The Free Library of Philadelphia offers Internet access at many branches.
March 7, 2013 |
Comcast Corp. says 5,700 low-income families in the Philadelphia area are now participating in a discounted Internet service the cable giant agreed to offer as part of its merger with NBCUniversal. Throughout the nation, 150,000 families have gone online with the program, Comcast said Tuesday. The service costs $9.95 a month, and participants can buy computers for $150. Comcast says 15,000 customers have bought them. Internet Essentials is available to parents with children who qualify for the federal free-lunch program, though families with past-due Comcast bills may not participate.
March 7, 2013 |
Candyce McNeill made a big move last summer. The bubbly 27-year-old left slow, sunny Georgia with her two young kids for fast-paced Philadelphia. She began a job search, but quickly hit a wall. She couldn't afford Internet at home, which meant that she couldn't easily apply for the many jobs that require online applications. She signed up for public assistance to make ends meet. "As a parent, it does hold me back," she said, referring to her lack of Internet access. "I have to be the provider.
January 11, 2013 |
Nearly 50 years after hundreds of thousands of people crowded the Mall in Washington to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech, more than 100,000 are expected to spend a day volunteering in his name in the region this month for the 18th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. At a news conference at Girard College on Wednesday, Todd Bernstein, the founder of Philadelphia's service day - the oldest and largest King service day in the country - said he expected 110,000 volunteers to participate in more than 1,500 community service projects on Jan. 21, topping last year's record of more than 105,000.