Comcast Offers Reduced Internet Service To Families In Need

Families with children receiving a free or reduced price school lunch are eligible to receive Comcast broadband Internet access for less than $10 a month.

Families with at least one child receiving free or reduced price school lunch 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.

The monthly rate is locked in and participants do not have to pay activation or equipment rental fees. In addition, Comcast also offers digital literacy training materials.

"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 and have at least one child in their household receiving free or reduced school lunch. They cannot have subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the past 90 days, nor can they 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.

Visit Comcast for more information about Internet Essentials in English, or for information in Spanish. 

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

Written by Jason Spencer

Trudy September 05, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Helen, I'm sorry but you don't Get it. Children who want to learn or read don't need cable. Library's have this service. Parents need to do more. Low income, I known your trying BUT THE LAZY A@@ I'm rasied my kids I one want to STOP working. I Can't keep Taking care of your. Mistakes.
Trudy September 05, 2012 at 03:00 AM
How many of these Kids are doing homework. If a Chid goes to the library 10 times a month give them FREE cable & service. But If they don't Sham on Them.
MM September 06, 2012 at 08:36 AM
I wouldn't trust that people are telling the truth about there financial situation since the scandal at CPS last year when it was discovered that administrators, principals and teachers whose salaries are way over $35k a year were dipping into the free lunch program.
MM September 06, 2012 at 08:37 AM
darn, their, not there.
Dee September 06, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Comcast should give reductions to seniors. They tricked my elderly parents into $160/month in fees for services they don't need or use. They are shady and difficult to deal with.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »