Comcast has announced plans to offer internet access to low-income families for just $10 per month, saying it wants to help close the digital divide.
When Comcast acquired NBC Universal at the beginning of this year, regulators stipulated that the company should do something to help poorer families get online.
Now, its Internet Essentials program aims to do just that.
“As America increasingly becomes a digital nation, in-classroom learning is being supplemented with digital curriculums and at-home assignments,” says Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
“Internet Essentials will help more low-income families benefit from the educational resources and assistance the internet provides.”
Qualifying families will recenve residential internet service for just $9.95 a month plus taxes, with no activation fees or equipment rental fees.
They’ll also get a voucher allowing them to buy a low-cost computer for $149.99 plus tax, along with training on how to use it.
Households, naturally, need to be living in areas where Comcast offers service, and there must be at least one child in the family eligible for a free school lunch. This, in practice, means that a family of three would beed to be making less than $25,000 per year.
“Access to the Internet has the potential to be a great equalizer and a life-changing technology. Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families,” says Comcast Corporation executive vice president David Cohen.
“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.”
Families can sign up for a three-year deal, with a guarantee of no price increases during that time.