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Comcast Offers Low Cost Internet to Students Receiving Free School Lunch

Comcast offers broadband access for $9.95 a month for qualified families

These days the most important school supply students need is a computer with access to the Internet. Comcast recently announced its Internet Essentials program to try to assist families facing tough times.

The Plan

If a family has at least one child in their household eligible for the federal free lunch program at their school, they may qualify for $9.95/month pricing on a Comcast broadband plan. The price will not rise as long as the family continues to meet eligibility requirements. The plan also has an option for a family to purchase a computer for $149. 

Free lunches are generally available to students with family income 130 percent or less of the federal poverty level. Eligibility is determined at the beginning of each school year. For example, a family of four earning less than $29,055 would qualify for the plan.

The Problem

Homework assignments require research, presentations and access to classroom websites. But for many, Internet access may be a luxury as food, shelter, transportation and utilities remain at the forefront of priorities. Many poor families go to libraries to access to the Internet, but this can be an inconvenience for a busy family, and can be a roadblock that deters a promising future. 

The Lines of Communication

Parents communicate with teachers and school administrators using email and school websites. Online gradebooks are available, school schedules and other resources are accessed by computer as the school saves the printing costs associated with paper handouts and newsletters.

For all of us, the cost of a computer and broadband Internet is significant. Imagine how much harder it can be if you are barely getting by. You could be unemployed or working jobs that don't pay enough to raise your family income much above the poverty level.  

The Right Thing To Do

This program goes a great way in helping families manage a tight budget and ensure that their kids have a level playing field with those who have greater resources. This is not a government-sponsored program and does not require additional funds from taxpayers. Comcast does benefit from exclusive franchise agreements as a cable provider in many parts of the country. 

Helping to support the communities that it operates in is the right thing to do, and this program will hopefully make a difference for the families who take advantage of these reduced prices.

Elaine Bjorhus Gibbs August 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM
How about going to the library like my generation did? Can't wait for my rates to go up. With the safel ink program that gives free cellphones with no contract and no monthly charges, paid for with U.S. tax dollars, it just doesn't pay to work anymore. Subsidized housing, free lunch, food stamps, free cell phone, and now internet with a computer, there is no reason to work. Just stay home and play video games and text message.
Kerry Dickerson December 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Kerry Dickerson Does this apply for all students in Illinois?

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