Low income families with at least one child that receives free or reduced price school lunches are eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides high speed Internet access for less than $10 per month. Under this special program, the monthly rate is set and there are no activation or equipment rental fees to pay. Comcast will also provide digital literacy training materials if necessary.
According to Alisha Martin, Comcast’s regional spokeswoman, “A digital divide exists, and low-income families who don’t have Internet access at home are being left behind. 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.”
The three primary barriers to the spread of broadband internet access in low income areas are: the prohibitive cost of Internet service, the cost of a reliable home computer, and the impression that an internet connection is a useless luxury that has little relevance to everyday life.
In order to be fully eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials, families must also live in an area serviced by Comcast and cannot have subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the past 3 months, or have any unreturned equipment or overdue bills with the company.
Under the program, qualifying families can also buy a low-cost computer from Comcast for just under $150 and will receive online, print, and in-person technical assistance and digital literacy training in both English and Spanish if necessary. As a result of the program, Comcast estimates at least an additional 100,000 families across the nation— or about 400,000 individuals — now have broadband internet access.
If you think your family is eligible for Internet Essentials and would like to know how you can sign up into the program, you can call 1-855-846-8376 (for English) or 1-855-765-6995 (for Spanish).