Cheap Internet for low-income families
Comcast deal was part of conditions in merger.
By JOSEPH DITS
South Bend Tribune Staff Writer
5:39 PM EDT, August 10, 2011
Comcast has just started to offer a reduced-cost for Internet service -- $9.95 a month plus tax -- for families whose income is so low that they have a child receiving a free lunch at school.
Internet Essentials, as it's called, is available only to families in areas where Comcast provides Internet service, said Jack Segal, vice president of public relations for Comcast in the greater Chicago region.
The offer came out about three weeks ago. It's the result of Comcast's merger with NBC Universal, in which -- as one of the conditions -- Comcast agreed to expand broadband Internet service to low-income households.
The offer is good for up to three years, as long as the family still has a child on the federal free-lunch program, Segal said.
There are other stipulations: It can't be a customer who subscribed to Comcast Internet in the past 90 days, and the customer cannot have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
The company also is offering a computer to the same families for about $150 plus tax. So far, the company is selling an Acer netbook, but that could expand to other types of computers, including refurbished units, Segal said. It's still being researched, he said.
The company will offer free Internet training to those who qualify, too -- in a classroom, online and in printed materials.http://www.internetessentials.com/
Call 855-8-INTERNET (855-846-8376) for an application. In Spanish, call 855-SOLO-955 (855-765-6995).