Comcast ties up with Khan Academy in free education on cheap broadband venture

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 16, 2013 02:03 PM EST

Today, it was announced that Comcast Corporation and free online education portal Khan Academy has entered into a joint venture. The announcement was made at a Silicon Valley Summit hosted by AtlanticLIVE Mountain View, California. According to TechCrunch, the joint venture is strategic on both parties - promote Khan's free, online education to low-income families alongside cheap broadband access of Comcast. The report cited Comcast executive vice president David Cohen, who was quoted as saying that people will get encouraged to pay more for broadband and also increase digital literacy as it will be the ultimate point of value of the Web.

David hinted that the joint venture will involve millions of dollars spanning over several years, but a Comcast oress release on its website did not provide any specific details. David stated, "This is one of the largest commitments we have made to a non-profit partner and includes a financial contribution, hundreds of thousands of PSAs a year, and significant digital promotion in both English and Spanish, as well as multiple joint promotion opportunities around the country over the next few years."

Khan Academy co-founder Sal Khan disclosed the joint venture's potential activities. He said, "Looking ahead, we're going to do some events together. I'd like to do one here in the Bay Area where there are thousands of families that qualify for Internet Essentials, but haven't signed up yet. Khan Academy is going to develop a public service announcement about the free personalized learning resources we offer and how they can be accessed from Internet Essentials. We'll also work together to reach out to low-income families, students and teachers to let them know that home Internet paired with home learning is a powerful combination. I expect other things will grow out of this that we haven't even thought of yet."

When asked about the impact of the joint venture to the public, or at least to its customer bases, Cohen said its partnership with Khan had provided a solution for Comcast to ultimately increase broadband adoption, which is increase in customers' digital literacy skills.

Cohen added, "We're going to put the largest allocation of our resources behind Khan Academy and promoting Khan Academy nationally, driving additional hits to that website. And we believe in doing that we're not only going to give kids and families access to this content... but drive larger broadband adoption in America."

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