Comcast said it’s expanding to its entire footprint its Internet Essentials program, which provides low-income households with inexpensive broadband access.
The expansion means 3 million eligible households, many including seniors and disabled people, are eligible. for the plan.
The program provides high-speed internet access for $9.95 a month, and the option to purchase a subsidized personal computer.
To be eligible for the program, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more of a dozen different federal assistance programs. These include: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In the eight years since the program was launched, Comcast says it’s connected more than 8 million low-income people to the internet.
“The Internet is arguably the most important technological innovation in history, and it is unacceptable that we live in a country where millions of families and individuals are missing out on this life-changing resource,” said David L. Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer of Comcast NBCUniversal. “Whether the Internet is used for students to do their homework, adults to look for and apply for new jobs, seniors to keep in touch with friends and family, or veterans to access their well-deserved benefits, it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age.”
"I’m pleased to see the expansion of the Internet Essentials program throughout the Comcast footprint to include low-income households that receive government assistance like SNAP, Medicaid or SSI," said FCC Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, who was in attendance at Comcast's Miami kick-off event. "This makes opportunities, like pursuing an education, accessing healthcare, or fulfilling a dream of starting a business, attainable for more people in our respective communities."