Connecting America's Seniors

senior couple

Older Americans Month is a time to honor the contributions and hard work of America's senior citizens, and while May wraps up today, the cable industry targets efforts to reach and engage this important population throughout every month of the year.

Why It Matters

Through broadband adoption programs, cable providers work to empower seniors with the means to connect, learn, access resources, and engage in various online activities that enhance their quality of life. These programs are crucial in reducing the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion among older adults.

Broadband Adoption Programs Make a Difference

Programs throughout the cable industryincluding Comcast's Internet Essentials, Charter's Spectrum Internet Assist, and Cox's ConnectAssistoffer affordable internet access to low-income households, which include senior citizens. These programs provide discounted internet service, low-cost computers, and free digital literacy training for senior citizens who meet the eligibility requirements, and benefit older Americans in the following ways:

  • Providing access to information, resources, and education such as news, tutorials, virtual skills training, healthcare information, and government services.
  • Fostering social connection and preventing isolation through virtual calls, sharing photos, participating in online communities, and social media platforms.
  • Enabling telehealth and telemedicine for seniors with mobility limitations and for those living in remote areas.
  • Introducing online banking and e-commerce so that seniors can conveniently manage their finances, pay bills, and shop online with internet access.
  • Encouraging entertainment and recreation through online games and streaming movies, shows, and music.

Digital Safety and Literacy Is Paramount

Broadband adoption programs throughout the industry also equip seniors with the tools to safely and securely navigate online platforms while enhancing their independence and convenience. Here are a few examples:

  • Comcast's Digital Navigators program sends trained individuals out in the field to teach digital skills to unconnected people.
  • Charter also recently expanded their Spectrum Community Center Assist program, which supports job and digital skills training efforts to help people improve their economic situation.
  • And Cox offers its Cox Digital Academy, an educational initiative designed to promote digital literacy through online tutorials related to online safety and digital tools.

The ACP's Significant Role

The FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is also helping to remove some of the barriers that impede low-income Americans, including seniors, from getting broadband at home.

  • Through the ACP's government assistance and federal subsidy to eligible low-income households for the purchase of internet service and connected devices, more Americans can benefit from everything that a broadband connection has to offer.
  • Cable providers, including Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI, Mediacom, Midco, and Vyve, eagerly signed up for the program early on, reflecting the industry's commitment to close the digital divide in America.
  • Cable providers also play an important part in convincing more households to sign up for the ACP through their strong partnerships with community organizations and state and local governments to identify qualifying households and to educate as many people as possible about the opportunities broadband offers.

Cable providers are committed to bridging the digital divide and making internet access more affordable, accessible, and navigable for vulnerable populations, and this includes senior citizens. As the U.S. finishes its 60th anniversary of Older Americans Month, the industry will continue to recognize the importance of internet connectivity for seniors and to empower them with the benefits of being online.