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Comcast’s Online Essentials: $10-a-Month Provider for Low-Income Families

Comcast’s Online Essentials: $10-a-Month Provider for Low-Income Families


  • Comcast Rolls Out ten dollars Web Access for Low-Income FamiliesMashable
  • Free cellular phones for the needy drawing both cheers and jeersPittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • False „Cellular Phones Are Now Actually a Civil Right” Meme Travels Through Right-Wing MediaMedia Matters
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If you’re in a location served by Comcast along with your young ones get free lunches in school through the nationwide class Lunch Program, you may possibly be eligible for a brand new online sites from Comcast, which costs simply $9.95 per month.

Combined with the needs above, to qualify for the specially reduced service, dubbed Web Essentials, you have to additionally not have enrolled in a Comcast online hookup over the past 3 months, and also you should never have an overdue comcast bill or nevertheless be hanging onto Comcast equipment that’s said to be returned.

To register for the solution, call Comcast (1-855-846-8376) and ask for a credit card applicatoin delivered into the mail. Online Essentials is likely to be available beginning with the 2011-2012 college 12 months, it’ll be around for signups throughout the next three college years, also it’s assured to stay coming in at $9.95 each month provided that the subscriber has a young child getting free meal at school and does not shut or break the regards to the Comcast account. Comcast can also be attempting to sell laptop computers to eligible families at a reduced price of $149.95, and it is offering free Internet training as well, all area of the initiative that is new.

Exactly why is Comcast being therefore substantial? The description it is distributing is definitely this:

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

That’s an idea that is nice. But Comcast also really wants to have the okay for NBC-Universal, and the Internet Essentials program to its merger assists that can cause, as Mashable explains:

Although this task appears like a goodwill effort on an element of the giant communications provider, it really is a by-product associated with the Comcast-NBC merger, where the business consented to “increase broadband implementation in low income households” as you of a number of conditions towards the purchase.

Not absolutely all “low earnings households” are qualified, however. As much commenters have actually reported at sites such as the Consumerist, to qualify for Web Essentials, you mustn’t simply be bad but additionally have actually young ones. Low-income childless partners, singles, additionally the senior are typical omitted.

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

The other day, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review stated that two businesses, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, give free cell phones to your bad throughout all the nation. Just how can these programs work? Well, have you ever noticed a curious fee marked “Universal Service Fund” on your own cellular phone bill? The cash collected helps cover the expenses of phone solution in libraries, schools, and lots of areas that are rural. In addition will pay for mobile phones and free mins for bad residents that are qualified to receive programs like Medicaid or meals stamps.

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

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You may also carry on the conversation on TIME’s Twitter 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 together with his spouse and four sons, and additionally shows journalism at UMass-Amherst.

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