Comcast’s Web Essentials: $10-a-Month Service for Low-Income Families


  • Comcast Rolls Out ten dollars Online Access for Low-Income FamiliesMashable
  • Free mobile phones for the needy drawing both cheers and jeersPittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • False “Mobile Phones Are Actually a Civil Right” Meme Travels Through Right-Wing MediaMedia Matters
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If you reside in a location offered by Comcast along with your young ones get free lunches in school through the nationwide class Lunch Program, you may possibly be eligible for an innovative new online sites from Comcast, which costs simply $9.95 four weeks.

Together with the requirements above, to qualify for the specially discounted solution, dubbed Internet Essentials, you must additionally not need enrolled in a Comcast Web hookup during the last 3 months, and you also should never have a comcast that is overdue or nevertheless be hanging onto Comcast equipment that’s allowed to be returned.

An application sent in the mail to sign up for the service, call Comcast (1-855-846-8376) and request. Online basics are going to be available you start with the 2011-2012 college 12 months, it’ll be around for signups within the next three college years, also it’s assured to stay coming in at $9.95 every month provided that the customer has a young child getting lunch that is free college and does not shut or break the regards to the Comcast account. Comcast can also be offering laptops to qualified families at a reduced price of $149.95, and it is providing free online training on top of that, all an element of the initiative that is new.

Exactly why is Comcast being therefore nice? The description it is distributing is merely this:

You want to bring the energy associated with Web to more pupils and families in the united states.

That’s an idea that is nice. But Comcast additionally desires to have the okay for its merger with NBC-Universal, additionally the Internet Essentials program helps that can cause, as Mashable explains:

While this task may seem like a goodwill effort on area of the giant communications provider, it is in reality a by-product of this Comcast-NBC merger, where the company decided to “increase broadband implementation in low income households” as you of lots of conditions towards the purchase.

Not totally all “low earnings households” are eligible, however. As much commenters have actually reported at internet sites just like the Consumerist, to qualify for Web Essentials, you mustn’t simply be bad but additionally have actually young ones. Low-income couples that are childless singles, together with senior are omitted.

But residents that are poor can’t join inexpensive online sites may remain qualified to receive free mobile phones—free moments too.

A week ago, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review stated that two organizations, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, give free cell phones towards the bad throughout almost all of the nation. Just how do these scheduled programs work? Well, have actually you ever noticed a curious fee marked “Universal Service Fund” on your own cellular phone bill? The income collected helps cover the expenses of phone solution in libraries, schools, and several areas that are rural. In addition it will pay for cellular phones and minutes that are free bad residents that are entitled to programs like Medicaid or food stamps.

The free cellular phone programs have now been around for a long time, however the Tribune-Review tale kicked down a firestorm of media coverage—particularly because of the right, decrying the idea that “cell phones are actually a civil right.”

Brad Tuttle is really a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You could carry on the conversation on TIME’s Facebook web web page as well as on Twitter at @TIME.

Brad Tuttle @bradrtuttle

Brad Tuttle covers business and finance that is personal TIME. He lives in Massachusetts along with his spouse and four sons, and additionally shows journalism at UMass-Amherst.