Comcast: Nearly 400K Americans participating in cheaper Internet program

Comcast: Nearly 400K Americans participating in cheaper Internet program

Summary: After one year of service, Comcast's reduced price Internet program already covers nearly 100,000 households.

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Comcast has announcing that in its first full year of availability, nearly 100,000 families -- or 400,000 Americans -- gained access to the Internet at home with the Internet Essentials.

In Chicago specifically, Comcast is working with more than 1,100 community-based organizations, school districts, faith-based organizations, elected officials to provide digital literacy training and educate community members about the Internet Essentials initiative.

Nearly 7,000 families signed on in Chicago alone, with more than 15,000 participating across the region, which encompasses most of Illinois, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

Launched last summer, Internet Essentials is a program designed to bring Internet to low-income families who Comcast describes as "on the wrong side of the digital divide."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented in a statement on Wednesday that he is "focused on closing the digital divide throughout our city and ensuring that every family in Chicago can benefit from getting online at home."

He added that "having widespread Internet access throughout our homes and in our neighborhoods will help the city move forward and ensure that our children have brighter opportunities in the future."

Essentially, Comcast offers Internet access at just $10 per month, initially to families with children already eligible for free and reduced price lunches under the National School Lunch Program.

In January, Comcast had released a progress report about its low-cost Internet broadband initiative, which at the time had reached approximately an estimated 160,000 Americans already.

The program is available in over 4,000 school districts in 39 states and the District of Columbia in areas Comcast serves.

Comcast will continue to sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Topics: Broadband, Networking, Tech Industry

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7 comments
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  • Share a Hot spot

    Alternatively, get a $35 a month Clear hotspot with built in Wifi ports for 6, and share it with 3 families.
    jabailo1
    • You could

      You could just as easily get cable internet and run some CAT5 over to your neighbor's homes. Probably be a lot less terrible an end user experience than trying to share a wireless hotspot.
      dsf3g
    • As a practical matter ....

      Ever actually try sharing a Wi-Fi hotspot between two buildings? Unless you're willing to locate your router on the side of your house facing your neighbor, and the neighbor has his/her Wi-Fi equipped computer on the side nearest your house, or you both rig up high-gain antennas, signal dropoff usually makes sharing iffy at best. A decent Wi-Fi connection at the second residence is do-able, but it may require more work or money than you and your neighbor want to invest.

      Besides, would you risk sharing your Internet connection with a neighbor who might download malware onto their computers, increasing the odds of your computer also becoming infected via the shared wireless LAN? Worse, how about the "good neighbor" who happens to be smart enough to defeat your security and snoop through your files over the network you allowed them to share? Or the nice guy next door who does something illegal, then gets you into trouble because the Internet connection is in your name? I like my neighbors, but not that much.
      wluffman
  • Follow the money...

    Does the city receive a kickback from the "Internet Essentials" accounts like they typically do with cable connections?
    pwatson
  • Great

    Something else I'm subsidizing.
    jtdavies
  • thats right keep the pore

    by not alowing childern who familys are so pore that cant pay for a lunch let alone internet sevice pore by giving thier childern another stop on the way to learning.do you know why you see the poor with cell phones it is because most dont own a computer at home let alone internet access .an you can get a phone for free,and get access to the inter net and a phone for only 45 dollars a month.hell thier are kid out there who are falling behind because of the cost of some as simple access to online infomation todo thier homework .what a country. not the one i fought for so long ago.
    sarai1313@...
    • Really?

      sarai1313@.....after trying to decipher your comment I have come to the conclusion that you need to turn your spell check back on and never turn it off.! Better yet could you sound a little more educated when you start trash talking people.? BTW...what military let you enlist with such a BAD grasp on the English language? As a vet myself, I could see you. NOT advancing in rank due to basic language comprehension issues.........good job Comcast!
      thatdroidguy