Comcast Offers 10 Dollar Internet To Eligible Families

By Brent Randall 2011-09-21 20:09:52
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Starting today, many more American families will have the opportunity to connect to the Internet. Comcast has rolled out its “Internet Essentials” program to all 39 states that it services in the US, giving eligible families access for $9.95 a month. The service was previously offered in a limited amount of areas, but has now expanded nationally.

As Time reports, Comcast has agreed to not increase the price, and not tack on any extra fees for things like activation or equipment rentals. In addition to the cheap Internet, subscribers are also offered a computer for $149.99 at sign-up along with free Internet training.

In order for a family to be eligible for the discount, they must meet four requirements: be located where Comcast offers service (obviously), have at least one child part of National School Lunch Program, have not subscribed to Comcast Internet within the last 90 days, and not have any outstanding bills with Comcast.

So, a giant corporation is doing something nice for people who need it. There must be a catch, right? At this point, it doesn’t seem like there is, or at least nothing overtly evil. Even though this discount comes off as a nice gesture, Comcast is still a business, and this is good business. First, they get positive press for attempting to close the “digital divide” between those fortunate to have grown up with computers and the Internet and those who did not. Second, they’re still making $10 a month where they, or any other provider, were previously making nothing. Comcast is still profiting from this program, they just aren’t making as much from those subscribers in comparison to others.

It’s clear that being comfortable using a computer and the Internet is becoming the norm for many jobs. Furthermore, the ability to go online drastically expands a student’s ability to do his or her homework and most importantly, learn (putting aside our cynicism about what kids might really be researching.) I think this is a great initiative, and hopefully other companies, along with the government will see that easier access to technology and the Internet will ultimately be a necessity.
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