Comcast Launches Low Cost Internet Essentials Program

Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2011 - 10:32 AM |
Tagged: Internet, Comcast, computer

This week saw the national launch of Comcast’s internet connectivity program for low income families. As a result of the Comcast-NBC merger, the company was required to create a low cost option for families in the US to connect to the internet. Dubbed the Internet Essentials program, it is undoubtedly a good thing to come out of the deal despite the more nebulous aspects.

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The Internet Essentials program entails a $9.95 plus tax per month cable connection with 1.5 Mbps download speeds and 384 Kbps upload speeds, which is a good value compared to more expensive DSL or slower dial up connections. In addition to the Internet connection, families who sign up will receive a voucher through Acer or Dell for a computer in the amount of 149.99 plus tax. While specific specifications of the computer have not been given, Comcast describes it as a netbook computer with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and the Windows 7 Starter operating system. It may also be bundled with productivity software when available. Families will also have access to free training materials in print, online, or in person. The service will be available throughout the Comcast service area for eligible families. In order to qualify for the service, families must have at least one student eligible for free lunches through the National School Lunch Program, must not have any overdue Comcast bills or unreturned equipment, and the household must not have had Comcast service for the past 90 days. Unfortunately, those families with students who only qualify for reduced price (but not free) lunches will not qualify for the Internet Essentials program.

The ISP will begin taking customers starting in the 2011 to 2012 school year, and will continue taking on new customers for three years following the initial roll out. Customers who are already using the Internet Essentials service will continue to be eligible for it so long as at least one child is eligible for free lunches, they do not close their Comcast account, and they do not violate the company’s residential ISP service agreement.

I for one am glad to see Comcast offering this service as the Internet is becoming increasingly important for students as a learning, collaboration, and productivity tool. Students can now be on a more level playing field in their school work, and this is great news, even if Comcast was forced to offer it as a condition of their merger approval. If you are interested in or know a family that might benefit from the Internet Essentials service, please head over to the company’s website or call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) for an application.

Source: Comcast

September 24, 2011 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Nilbog

This is a great idea and kudos to Comcast for doing this first at such an affordable price (even if they were forced). Although i have to say that no ISP should be allowed to sell Internet service at such low speeds. This is 2011, not the 90s, i am very confident in saying that Comcast(or any ISP for that matter) wouldn't have much to lose if they pumped more bits for cheaper in general.
Also i find that upload speed offensive, 384 Kbps!?!?!? so if some kid had to upload something for class(and it does happen) are they supposed to upload it, go to bed, and hope its done by morning or what?

September 26, 2011 | 04:08 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

heh, yeah I see your point. It's a definite step in the right direction though over dialup and expensive satellite. 384 Kbps is like lowest tier DSL speeds though, which is pretty unacceptable. Even a local wimax provider here offers 512Kbps on its absolute slowest plans, and that's wireless over a couple miles! 0.0 At least the download speed should be decent and stable :) I hope it spurs some competition in the low cost cable arena.

December 7, 2012 | 09:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh That is Really nice!!!
my husband and I have worked since we were children. We have a 21 year old son and GUess what - WE PAY FOR EVERYTHING _ INTERNET COMCAST (WHICH HAS A MONOPLY IN OUR AREA.

Really nice that now our rates are going to go up and expenses increase. REALLY NICE

Why don't you make this program available for EVERYONE SO EVERYONE HAS THEIR fair share - I am sick of paying for everyone else while my costs, taxes et al keep escalating from internet access to computers
Programs like This create VERY ILL Will - My family and I will never buy a Dell or Acer because of this of this and if I could shed comcast I definitely Would!!!!!!!!

December 22, 2012 | 06:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Such a loving and heartfelt comment. Hope you're never in a situation where you need help.. you better PRAY that the person on the other end of your situation doesn't have a heart like yours!! Merry Christmas :)

December 22, 2012 | 06:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Such a loving and heartfelt comment. Hope you're never in a situation where you need help.. you better PRAY that the person on the other end of your situation doesn't have a heart like yours!! Merry Christmas :)

March 9, 2013 | 03:58 PM - Posted by Customer (not verified)

speed is great, not slow at all. My kids use the internet for school and I use it to watch Nexflix. We are always downloading apps to our ipod, and phones. You dont have to paid for the modem rental fee. Every month I only pay $9.95!!!!!!

January 1, 2014 | 10:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

my service sucks, i am paying and can't use the internet at all

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