Web access can be a real luxury these days. However, Comcast is making it a lot more affordable for some. The service provider just launched Internet Essentials, a plan that offers web access to low-income families for $10 a month.
Back in January, when Comcast was looking to take over NBC Universal, the FCC added a mandate requiring that Comcast have an affordable, web-only solution. Now, Comcast is making good on its promise, as well as adding a few other perks into the program.
Besides a discount on web services, Comcast says that Internet Essentials will also provide affordable computers and digital literacy training to families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program.
Of course, there are other eligibility requirements. Participants must live within the Comcast service area, and can’t have signed up for Comcast Internet within the last 90 days. Also, current customers with an outstanding bill will not be accepted into the program.
Those that do qualify can sign up for residential Internet service for $9.95 a month (along with applicable taxes). This program features download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps.
Comcast says that there will be no price increases, no activation fees, and no equipment rental fees. Along with the web access, program participants will receive a voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 (plus tax) and the Norton Security Suite at no additional cost.
“Access to the Internet has the potential to be a great equalizer and a life-changing technology,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast’s executive vice president. “Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families. Access to broadband in students’ homes will help them connect with their teachers and their school’s educational resources as well as enabling parents to do things like apply for jobs online or use the Internet to learn more about healthcare and government services available where they live.”
Eligible families will be signed into the Internet Essentials program for at least three years or as long as at least one child in their household continues to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program.
Follow Electronic House
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.