Comcast expands Internet Essentials, to continue program “indefinitely”

Internet Essentials brings $9.95 broadband access to homes where children qualify for Federal free or reduced lunch. Partners with Masonic Angel Fund's Laptops for KidZ on Cape Cod
In the past two and a half years Comcast has connected 300,000 low income families to Internet Essentials.

Comcast extends broadband program for low income families

Internet Essentials to continue “indefinitely”

Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” national broadband program for low income families will continue “indefinitely”, according to Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen. Internet Essentials was originally slated to run for only three years – from 2011 to the close of school this year.

Internet Essentials brings $9.95 broadband access to homes where children qualify for Federal free or reduced lunch. Public, private, parochial, cyber and homeschooled children are eligible for the program. There are 6,631 Cape area children that qualify for lunch assistance.

In the past two and a half years Comcast has connected 300,000 low income families to Internet Essentials across the USA.

In a recent exclusive interview with Cape Cod Today, Marc Goodman, Comcast’s Boston area director of public relations explained how Internet Essentials has improved since 2011:

To increase enrollment and continue to help close the digital divide in America, Comcast continues to enhance Internet Essentials. This year we have:

  • Increased Speed - For the second time in two years, Comcast has increased its broadband speeds for Internet Essentials customers up to 5 Mbps downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream. The company has more than tripled the download speeds for Internet Essentials customers since the program’s launch.
  • Streamlined Enrollment – Comcast has further streamlined the enrollment process by expanding the instant approval process for families whose students attend schools where 70 percent or more of the students are eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
  • Expanded Eligibility – Comcast has expanded program eligibility criteria for the second time, to include parochial, private, cyberschool, and homeschooled students. Now, nearly 2.6 million families nationwide are eligible for Internet Essentials.
  • Created an Online Application Tool – On InternetEssentials.com and InternetBasico.com, it is now easier and faster for a family to apply for Internet Essentials. This convenient online request form is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed through any Internet-enabled computer, tablet, or smartphone. It can be used by families on computers at community centers, local libraries or at a friend’s to request an application.
  • Introduced Internet Essentials Opportunity Cards – Our community partners are now able to help connect low-income families to the Internet by purchasing Opportunity Cards that can be used toward the cost of paying for Internet Essentials service.

Comcast recently partnered with Khan Academy for provide educational opportunities for lower-income families.

Here on Cape Cod, Internet Essentials partners with the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project to provide broadband access to many families that receive laptops from the Masonic Angels. Comcast also works closely with area school districts to increase awareness of Internet Essentials.

Internet Essentials members receive $9.95 (plus tax) monthly broadband access for as long as a child in the household qualifies for free/reduced lunch. Comcast provides a broadband modem with wireless access point to all Internet Essentials members.

Families looking to enroll in the program can call 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 855-765-6995 (Spanish).

Links: www.internetessentials.com , www.laptopsforkidZ.org , www.khanacademy.org , http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/internet-essentials-2014.


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