Cable Ops To Follow Comcast's Internet Essentials Model

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According to multiple sources, the FCC is going to announce Wednesday that other major cable industry players and community groups--including One Economy--are joining the nation's largest cable operator, Comcast, in the Internet Essentials model  of providing low-cost broadband--$9.95 a month--digital literacy education and a low-cost computer to every home with a school-age child who qualifies for the nation's free-lunch program.

It is part of the FCC's Connect to Compete initiative launched last month. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce the industry commitmentt tomorrow at a D.C. public school. It is described as an "unprecedented effort to address the cost barrier to broadband adoption."

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last month applauded Comcast for that Internet Essentials program--

the occasion was Comcast's D.C. rollout of the program--while calling on the rest of the industry to do all it could to close the digital divide, repeating a call he made at the cable show in Chicago in June

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association almost two years ago proposed an Adoption-Plus (A+) program to offer low-income families with middle school kids half price broadband service and half price modems for two years, plus free installation. But that program was contingent on government-funded training and education (via broadband stimulus money)  and never got off the ground.