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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Comcast offers $9.99 Internet Service for Low-Income Families
Affordable Internet Access for Families Qualified for Free School Lunch
Software alone carries a retail value of $160
Level of connection is useful for basic activities - email, online school activities, homework - but not so much for streaming video or playing many online games.
Internet access just became more attainable for low-income families with the introduction of Comcast’s Internet Essentials service. Eligible households can receive the discounted service at a price of $9.99 per month, plus tax.
To be eligible for the service, a household must meet the following criteria:
- Located within a Comcast service area
- Have at least one child who receives free school lunches under the National School Lunch Program
- Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet for the past 90 days
- Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
The service provided by Internet Essentials offers a connection rate of up to 1.5 Mbps download and 384k upload. This level of connection is useful for basic activities such as email, online school activities and homework but not so much for streaming video or playing many online games.
Masonic Angel Fund's Laptops For Kids signs up fast
While Comcast is offering an option to purchase a $149 netbook computer, it’s more likely that a family that qualifies for Internet Essentials would be more a customer for the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Laptops for KidZ project or some other technology access program.
Locally, we learned that Laptops for KidZ has already enrolled with Comcast as a partner for Internet Essentials. Masonic Angel Foundation President Robert Fellows told Plymouth Daily News that they started contacting local school professionals about the program Tuesday night and that many had already taken steps to get their school districts involved.
Dennis-Yarmouth schools are already moving on the offer
Dennis-Yarmouth superintendent Carol Woodbury said that she had met with the district’s principals this morning and stated “We have a plan in place to ensure families will learn about this program and receive help to sign up for it.”
To date the Angel Fund has given just under 200 free laptops to local schools.
The service was established as part of Comcast’s agreement with the FCC over their acquisition of NBC.
The FCC mandated that the company come up with a way to get low income families connected to the Internet.
Starting in the 2011-12 school year, families may sign up by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET. Further information is available at www.InternetEssentials.com.
What IS Laptops For Kids?
For today’s school children, a home computer is an essential educational tool. Children who do not have access to a computer outside of school hours suffer more and more of a disadvantage the further they progress through the grade levels.
The Laptops for KidZ Project helps. Local businesses and individuals donate gently used laptop computers to the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. The Laptop for KidZ Project’s volunteer staff refurbish the computers and make them ready for distribution to schools through the Masonic Angel Foundation’s partners in local school systems.
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