Comcast announced a $1 billion initiative Monday aimed at helping consumers access the Internet.

    The announcement, which comes in the wake of a public records request by The Associated Press, was made during a teleconference with top executives from the nation’s largest cable and broadband providers.

    It’s the latest step in the company’s effort to bolster its own broadband network as it battles a $70 billion merger with Time Warner Cable and a series of other media companies.

    The program is the latest in a series Comcast is making to help customers with Internet service.

    In September, the company unveiled a $3 billion Internet broadband plan that will let customers pay as little as $30 a month for high-speed Internet.

    Comcast has said it is building its network faster, more resilient and more resilient for its customers than other broadband providers and is working to build out an expanded network.

    More than 10 million people have signed up for the plan, and Comcast has already signed up 2 million people.

    Comcast’s plan covers about 8 percent of the U.S. population, according to the company.

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