Comcast Launches Broadband For Low Income Families

Families that meet low income requirements will soon be able to subscribe to Comcast’s high speed Internet service through their new “Internet Essentials” program.  Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” program was mandated as a requirement of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal earlier this year.

Internet Essentials will be available wherever Comcast offers broadband, which includes 39 states, including Wisconsin and Minnesota.  To promote the program, Comcast has launched websites in both English and Spanish.

To qualify for Internet Essentials, a family must meet the following requirements:

  • Has at least one child eligible to receive a free school lunch under the NSLP (as an example, according to the Department of Agriculture, a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income);
  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
  • Has children in grades K-12
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

Families will also receive a voucher which will allow them to purchase a new computer for $149.99 (plus tax).

For more information on Comcast Internet Essentials, visit http://www.internetessentials.com/ .

Isaac Grover is the chief information technology consultant at Quality Computer Services.  When he’s not enveloped in technology, he enjoys being with his family and being involved in the community.
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6 Responses to Comcast Launches Broadband For Low Income Families

  1. Snidely whiplash says:

    What about Seniors living in more rural states, say North Dakota
    I feel it could be argued that there is a need here for more affordable Internet access.
    Medical and nutritional help could even lead to lower National care costs.
    They literally don’t have time for dial up There needs are just as great, and its in the National interest to help them.

    “Sign up for Comcast. Grandma says its the right think to do”

    • Avatar of Isaac Grover Isaac Grover says:

      @Snidely – thank you for your comments. When contemplating a new service area, any Internet service provider is going to evaluate return on investment first and foremost. For the rural areas, it will cost a company between $10,000.00 and $30,000.00 per mile to deliver Internet along the roadside, and upwards of $400.00 to install it at each home, if that home is within 50 feet of the roadway. Many rural homes can be between a quarter mile a mile off the main roadway, so their cost per home will be higher.

      Take a home that is a mere four miles of town and right next to the roadway. It will cost an average of around $80,000.00 to get Internet access to that one home. If that one home is the only one that is willing to pay for Internet access at $60.00 per month, the Internet service provider will not even break even until their 112th year after installing the service – assuming they have a perfect, always-pays-on-time subscriber!

      Just because we all live in the United States does not mean we are all entitled to high-speed Internet access. Now that you understand the basic economics of delivering high-speed Internet access to a home, hopefully you will be more understanding of the reasons why you can’t get it in rural areas. If you really want it, there are other options: WildBlue satellite offers nationwide coverage; you can also check with your local mobile carriers like Verizon Wireless or Sprint – many of them also offer Internet service for customers inside their coverage areas.

      Thank you again for your comments,
      Isaac

  2. Stuff and Things says:

    “Just because we all live in the United States does not mean we are all entitled to high-speed Internet access.”
    Nice way to turn this into a political discussion. What a childish response. While yes I do understand the economics involved I do believe your numbers may be a little bloated as there are plenty of rural farm’s within North Dakota with DSL access. While it may not be cable fast it’s better than dial up. Yes there are other alternatives other than dial up such as Hughes Net and WildBlue, so the “you can’t get it in rural areas” simply isn’t true but yes you will pay more for it and I don’t see any companies lowering prices anytime soon.

    • Avatar of Isaac Grover Isaac Grover says:

      @Stuff and Things, the numbers are based on direct quotes from companies that laid cables in rural areas. Also keep in mind that the government does provide grants and financial incentives to companies aspiring to bring Internet access to rural areas, so while the companies may not necessarily pay numbers like those above, the contractors who lay the cables still charge those costs regardless of where their money is coming from.

      Your last comment expands the discussion from land-based Internet access options to satellite-based Internet access options. The discussion to this point has hinged on land-based Internet access options, and while other options do exist, they have not been included as they are not land-based. And not every satellite-based or fixed-wireless Internet access option is national, which is another reason they are not included in national surveys.

      Hope that clears up the confusion,
      Isaac

  3. Lilith says:

    @Mr. Grover. Wow. What a callous response; or perhaps “terse” would be a better word. You couldn’t just say that it would be cost prohibitive and then go from there – in a manner less arrogant and more professional? IMO, Snidely was merely stating a legitimate observation. Did you have to bite his (or her) head off for it?

    • Avatar of Isaac Grover Isaac Grover says:

      @Lilith – Merely stating that it would be cost prohibitive without supporting numbers would lack professionalism, and if by providing those supporting numbers proactively implied arrogance, such was clearly not my intention. However, to satisfy your request:

      @Snidely – It would be cost prohibitive.

      Cheers,
      Isaac

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