Thousands of Local Households Eligible for $10 Monthly Internet

Comcast offers a program for low-cost monthly Internet access and a computer for under $150.

Families with at least one child receiving free or reduced-price school lunches are eligible for a Comcast program that provides broadband Internet access for less than $10 a month. 

The Comcast program, Internet Essentials, is in its second year and is part of a larger, industry-wide effort to increase high-speed Internet access among low-income families.

"A digital divide exists, and low-income families who don't have Internet access at home are being left behind," said Alisha Martin, a regional Comcast spokeswoman.

"So, the Internet Essentials program was designed to help close the digital divide and get more Americans, more families, connected to the Internet so they can experience the tremendous benefits that the Internet offers."

To be eligible, families must:

  • Live in an area serviced by Comcast.
  • Have at least one child in their household receiving free or reduced-price school lunch.
  • Cannot have subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the past 90 days.
  • Possess any unreturned Comcast equipment or have any overdue Comcast bills.

Research shows that the three primary barriers to broadband adoption are the cost of Internet service, the cost of a home computer and a lack of understanding that the Internet is useful and relevant, Martin said.

The Internet Essentials program aims to address all three of those issues. Aside from the low-cost monthly access, Comcast will offer qualifying families a low-cost computer for just under $150 and will provide online, print and in-person technical assistance and digital literacy training in English and Spanish.

The digital literacy programs teach everything from basic computer skills like how to access the Internet and email to more practical lessons like how to look for a job, find health care information or use social media. Training videos feature Al Roker and other NBC personalities.

Nationally, Comcast estimates at least 100,000 families — or about 400,000 individuals — now have broadband access thanks to the Internet Essentials program.

Last year, the program was only available to families of students who received free lunch. Broadening eligibility to include families with students who receive reduced-price lunch should make another 300,000 households eligible for the program, Martin said.

Comcast will continue to enroll families through at least the 2013-14 school year, and those families will remain eligible for the discounted rate as long as one child receives free or reduced lunch.

To sign up for Internet Essentials, families can call toll-free 855-846-8376 (for English) or 855-765-6995 (for Spanish) to get the process started. If eligible, a third-party company will verify that the family has at least one child receiving free or reduced price school lunch and will complete the registration process.

For more information about Internet Essentials, visit www.InternetEssentials.com (for English) or www.InternetBasico.com (for Spanish).

Educational and community leaders interested in spreading the word or purchasing bulk accounts can visit: www.InternetEssentials.com/partner.

SMYRNA-X September 04, 2012 at 09:40 PM
This is awesome! Even though im part of the 99%, I just havent given up enough of my paycheck. Social security, medicaid/medicare, federal/state/local/sales/commuter taxes, tolls and revenue generating police summons are clearly not enough. Corporations also feel free to give away to the unwashed masses, but also make profits. Comcast is not giving away anything. They are putting thier do gooder on thier customers backs.
. September 05, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Are you retarded or just pretend to be online?
NC Tramontina September 06, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Sorry Richard, I for one have had it with this stuff. Since when did having internet access become an essential to life? In the real world there are NO FREEBIES! Somebody is making up the difference for this program and it just happens to be anyone who has an account w/Comcast. Lucky me. The main problem I have with this is Comcast didn't ask me if I wanted to participate. When is enough enough? I am so tired of the many feel good programs initiated for the sole purpose of making people like you feel better about themselves. I don't need you, Comcast, or the federal government's help deciding who deserves access to my hard earned $. This is but one more piece of nonsense that helps to create a society of enabled and entitled cry-babies totally incapable of working to get the things they need or want by themselves.
. September 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Then cancel your service with Comcast and go with Fios or Dish. Maybe you can join the local tea bagger party to express your anger at give poor children a chance to use the internet (basically a requirement for homework after 3rd grade). Either way, nobody else cares what you think. Peace....
Stephen Eickhoff September 07, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I don't see any public funds being used here, so I don't see why a "tea bagger" would be against it. Private charity is exactly what constitutionalists are in favor of. Don't feed the trolls.


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