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Comcast’s Online Essentials: $ Service that is 10-a-Month for Families


  • Comcast Rolls Out ten dollars Web Access for Low-Income FamiliesMashable
  • Free mobile phones for the needy drawing both cheers and jeersPittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • False “Mobile Phones Are Now Actually a Civil Right” Meme Travels Through Right-Wing MediaMedia Matters
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If you reside in a location offered by Comcast along with your young ones get free lunches in school through the nationwide class Lunch Program, you could be eligible for a new online sites from Comcast, which costs simply $9.95 30 days.

Combined with the needs above, to qualify for the specially discounted solution, dubbed Web Essentials, you need to additionally not need enrolled in a Comcast online hookup throughout the last 3 months, and also you should never have a comcast that is overdue or nevertheless be hanging onto Comcast equipment that’s said to be returned.

An application sent in the mail to sign up for the service, call Comcast (1-855-846-8376) and request. Online basics is supposed to be available beginning with the 2011-2012 school 12 months, it’ll be around for signups within the next three college years, also it’s guaranteed in full to stay coming in at $9.95 each month as long as the customer has a young child receiving lunch that is free college and doesn’t shut or break the regards to the Comcast account. Comcast can also be offering laptop computers to qualified families at a reduced price of $149.95, and it is offering free online training on top of that, all area of the brand new effort.

Exactly why is Comcast being therefore large? The description it is distributing is merely this:

You want to bring the charged energy regarding the online to more pupils and families around the world.

That’s a nice idea. But Comcast additionally would like to have the okay for NBC-Universal, and the Internet Essentials program to its merger assists that can cause, as Mashable explains:

Although this task appears like a goodwill effort on an element of the giant communications provider, it really is a by-product regarding the Comcast-NBC merger, where the ongoing business decided to “increase broadband implementation in low income households” as one of lots of conditions towards the purchase.

Not totally all “low earnings households” are qualified, however. As numerous commenters have actually reported at web internet sites such as the Consumerist, to qualify for Web Essentials, you must certainly not simply be bad but additionally have actually kids. Low-income childless partners, singles, additionally the senior are typical left out.

But residents that are poor can’t subscribe to inexpensive Internet service may nevertheless be entitled to free mobile phones—free moments too.

A week ago, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review stated that two businesses, Assurance Wireless and SafeLink Wireless, give free cell phones to your bad throughout almost all of the nation. Just how do these scheduled programs work? Well, have actually you ever noticed a curious fee marked “Universal provider Fund” in your cellular phone bill? The cash collected helps cover the expenses of phone solution in libraries, schools, and lots of rural areas. In addition will pay for mobile phones and free mins for bad residents that are entitled to programs like Medicaid or meals stamps.

The free cellular phone programs have been in existence for decades, however the Tribune-Review tale kicked off a firestorm of media coverage—particularly because of the best, decrying the idea that “cell phones are now actually a civil right.”

Brad Tuttle is just a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You may also carry on the discussion on TIME’s Twitter web web web page as well as on Twitter at @TIME.

Brad Tuttle @bradrtuttle

Brad Tuttle covers business and finance that is personal TIME. He lives in Massachusetts along with his spouse and four sons, and additionally shows journalism at UMass-Amherst.