Comcast is launching a new program to provide Internet service to low income families in the US. at a discount. Dubbed Internet Essentials, the offering includes $9.95 per month Internet service and a voucher to buy a computer for $149.

“Access to the Internet has the potential to be a great equalizer and a life-changing technology. Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families,” Comcast vice president David Cohen said in a press release.

The program was required as part of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal. It is available in the 39 states where Comcast does business to families who have a child participating in the National School Lunch Program and do not have an overdue Comcast bill.

The company says there will be no price increases or rental fees associated with the program, and that free Internet training also will be provided to those in the program. Customers will accepted into the program for three full school years.

Comcast promises download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps for those in the program.

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  • Marshall Kirkpatrick

    This is SO fabulous!

  • Guest

    Congratulations and thank you to Comcast for helping to bridge the digital divide!

  • Jason Spencer

    Excellent news!  I’ll be passing this along to all my educator friends to help make it happen faster!

  • Lawrence Lam

    How is this related to the acquisition? Or is it just one of those political things that have to happen?

  • BillyGalbreath

    I qualify for this, but I’ll keep my 20mbps down 3 mbps up line for $30/mo I’m already paying Comcast for…

    What a joke!

    • comcast_can_do_better

      Well, *and* you’d have to cancel and wait 90 days and then sign back up (according to their website). I agree – this isn’t as good as it sounds. Come on Comcast – you can do better.

  • Guest

    Kids at home don’t use the internet for education or learning. They use it for socializing, playing games, and watching porn. That’s a fact. This will do nothing to “level a playing field”.

    • Guest

      Maybe your kids don’t learn, Gene, but mine do. Every week I go over a list of the web sites that my children have visited. Social, game, and porn sites are catalogued and discussed at our weekly one-on-one meetings. I have repeatedly imparted the importance of using Internet for learning, and because of my attention to my children, my children achieve much more than do others.

      Others. You know — like your social porngaming children, Gene.

    • Stu

      You’re absolutely right. Children are all totally illiterate. We should just round them all up and march them into the sea.

    • Paul Erin King

      besides kids actually being able to use the internet for non-porn, they can actually get research done when they don’t have access to a decent library. More than that, their parents can use it for work and looking for better employment.

      I’m in a mentoring program, let me tell you, when you’ve got a family of 8 living in a 2 bedroom apartment watching porn is next to impossible.

  • Anonymesque

    I just hope they don’t put an unreasonably low cap on it and charge by the meg for overages.  That’d be the opposite of innovation.

  • Anonymous

    What about poor people who don’t have children, Comcast?

    • FIRE4COP

      Get a job, go to library or go without!

  • Eric

    Title should read: “Govt forces Comcast subs to subsidizde cheap internet in return for acquisison approval”

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