Cable provider Comcast is launching a program that will provide discounted Internet access and computers, as well as free Internet training, to low-income families.
The program, called Internet Essentials, will cost $10 per month plus tax and feature download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps. Internet Essentials will accept new customers for at least the next three school years.
The program’s website promises that no price increases, activation fees, or equipment rental fees will be included in customers’ monthly bills.
To sign up for the program, customers must meet the following conditions; they:
- Must have at least one child who is eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program.
- Must be a resident of one of the 39 states where Comcast offers Internet service.
- Cannot have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
- Cannot have signed up for Comcast Internet service within the past 90 days.
Comcast said it is starting the program to help “level the playing field” for low-income families, who might be at risk of falling behind without Internet access.
The program is a result of one of the conditions of the Comcast-NBC merger. Comcast agreed to increase broadband deployment to low-income households as part of the merger agreement.
Check Consumer Reports Online for more information on Internet services and Ratings of ISPs (available to subscribers).
Comcast Internet Essentials [Comcast]
Comcast rolls out $10 Internet access for low-income families [Mashable]