One of the biggest affordability initiatives is Comcast’s Internet Essentials. Entering its sixth year, Internet Essentials now connects 750,000 families, or about 3 million Americans. Through the program, Comcast provides high-speed Internet service to those who qualify for $9.95 per month, plus discounted computer equipment and free Internet training.
According to a five-year progress report recently issued, a survey of Internet Essentials customers reports that 95 percent of recipients saw a positive impact on a child’s grades, and 98 percent said they subscribed to Internet Essentials to use the Internet for homework/school projects.
In July, Comcast partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative to expand Internet Essentials to about 2 million HUD-assisted homes within the MSO’s service territory. HUD says those homes account for about 40 percent of all its households. In addition, Comcast will be awarding more than $2 million in grants to community organizations that provide digital literacy training and Internet access.
Since the program’s inception in 2011, Comcast has expanded eligibility for Internet Essentials nine times.
In Texas, Comcast officials and Internet Essentials spokesperson Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a six-time Olympic medalist, recently announced that as part of the program, Comcast will provide a $35,000 grant to the City of Houston for a mobile computer lab and $20,000 in grants to both Neighborhood Centers, Inc., and the YMCA in support of their digital literacy efforts and providing Internet access at their computer labs.
Connect2Compete (C2C) is EveryoneOn’s flagship program for K-12 students and provides affordable Internet and devices to students and families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program. C2C is offered in partnership with leading cable companies, including Suddenlink, Comcast’s Internet Essentials and others.
Eligible customers receive fast, affordable Internet for as low as $9.95 per month (plus tax). For most customers, there is no deposit required, contracts to sign, or installation or modem rental fees.
Cable One was recognized by Cablefax Magazine’s 2016 Top Ops Awards for the cable company’s Chromebooks for Kids initiative that gives students in its service area access to the technology necessary to learn. For three years, Cable One has donated Chromebooks to Title I schools, many of which lack the funding to purchase such devices. Odessa is among the 10 Cable One markets nationwide where schools have been served by Chromebooks for Kids.
On a federal level, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has backed the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to modernize the Lifeline program – created to help low-income households to obtain telephone service – to support broadband.