Technology News

Broadband internet service for less than $10/month

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission announced a new initiative Wednesday to make internet service available for millions of low income families. Families who qualify will be able to get high speed internet service for about $10 a month and are also eligible to buy computers for as little as $150.

Those ten dollar deals will be offered by a number of major cable providers in the U.S., but Comcast has already started implementing its program, called "Internet Essentials." The program offers broadband internet for $9.95 a month, with no activation or equipment rental fees.

To qualify, families must have at least one student enrolled in the federal free lunch program. After you are approved, you can also choose to purchase a computer for $149.99. "We have broadband out there... we have broadband access. But this is about broadcast adoption, getting families connected. And our communities aren't connected. And today, if you're going to school and you're a child, you must be connected," said Jack Hall, the government affairs director for Comcast in Fresno.

Fresno's Stone Soup offers services and support to Southeast Asian families. The organization's executive director says low-cost internet could really benefit their clients. "For our families, it's still a big digital divide. So it means a lot for us so then we're able to bring these families ahead and advance them," said Maika Yang.

Right now, Stone Soup is trying to familiarize parents with Atlas, an online resource for Fresno Unified parents to keep updated with their children's grades and assignments. "I think that's another window of opportunity to kind of really step up and be more proactive about their child's education," said Yang.

To request an application for the affordable internet program just call 1-855-846-8376. Once you mail in the necessary paperwork, it takes about seven to 10-days for a response.

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