Originally published: September 12, 2011
Last updated: September 12, 2011 - 3:55pm
Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, has launched a new program aimed at reducing the digital divide, or the gap between high- and low-income communities in Internet accessibility and digital literacy.
The company says low-income families will now be able to get a fast Internet connection for $9.95 per month; the question now is whether the effort can overcome the many barriers that keep the poor from getting online. The program, called Internet Essentials, will offer a big discount to low-income families, says Comcast Vice President David Cohen. Basic high-speed Internet, which normally would cost around $50 per month, will be available for the $9.95 rate. To be eligible, families must have a child who qualifies for the free school lunch program — that means an income of less than $25,000 a year for a family of three. Because Internet access doesn't do much good without a computer, Comcast is also offering coupons that will allow these families to buy a basic PC for $150.
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