Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Opportunities for low-cost Internet service and computers offered through "Internet Essentials" program

As part of Comcast's merger with NBC-Universal last year, Comcast is rolling out a national program to provide low-cost Internet service and computers to qualifying families. The program, called Internet Essentials, is just gearing up and applications are being taken now.

Here are the details - please help spread the word about these programs. 

Internet Essentials participants receive:
• Low-cost Internet for $9.95 a month (plus applicable taxes);
• No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
• A voucher redeemable to purchase a low-cost computer ($149.99 + tax) given at initial enrollment;
• Access to free digital literacy training in print, online or in-person.
The service also includes free Norton™ Security Suite online safety software valued at $160.


Internet Essentials will become available during the 2011-2012 “Back to School” season. A household is eligible to participate in Internet Essentials if it meets all of the following criteria:
• Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
• Has at least one child who receives a free school lunch as part of his/her enrollment in the National School Lunch Program;
*According to the Department of Agriculture, eligibility means a household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income.
• Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
• Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
Comcast will accept new program participants through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
Find Out More
• For general information about Internet Essentials, visit: (for English) and (for Spanish).
• For educators or community-based program leaders, visit:
• For parents looking to enroll in the program, call 1-855-846-8376 or for Spanish call 1-855-765-6995.

Coverage in the program from E-School News:

"Nearly everything Miami-Dade students -- and their parents -- need for school can be done online: Check homework assignments. Work on extra tutoring. View digital textbooks. Check children’s grades. Or e-mail their teachers. But 72 percent of families in this Florida county’s neediest neighborhoods didn't have Internet service at home in 2008, when Miami-Dade County Public Schools last did a survey.

A program launching this week in partnership with the cable provider Comcast seeks to change that. Families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches can sign up for low-cost, high-speed Internet access, buy a computer at a discount, and take free digital literacy training. “Access to the Internet is akin to a civil rights issue for the 21st century,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast’s executive vice president. “It’s that access that enables people in poorer areas to equalize access to a quality education, quality health care and vocational opportunities.” 


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