Millions of Comcast’s low-income Internet Essentials plan are about to get a couple very early Christmas present.
First, the company is increasing their internet speeds by 50%. Second, wherever they are out and about, they can now use any of the company’s 18 million hot spots for free.
Here are the details from TheNewsTribune.com:
Comcast announced last week that its Internet Essentials program, which offers internet for $9.95 per month to families receiving public-housing assistance or with at least one child who qualifies for the National School Lunch Program, will see speeds boosted from 10 mbps to 15 mbps.
Customers of that program can now also get 40 hours of free monthly access to any of Comcast’s 18 million Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots (there are 800,000 in Washington, 159,113 in Pierce County, and 44,734 within Tacoma city limits, the company said).
Comcast created the Internet Essentials program back in 2011, and it now provides fast, reliable internet access for more than 4 million low-income Americans across the country. This valuable program helps close the Digital Divide by offering those customers wi-fi, free digital literacy training, and the ability to purchase a laptop, desktop or tablet computer for $150 or less (plus tax).
Although critics of the program find reasons to blast Comcast, Internet Essentials has done more than any other low-income internet plan to bridge the Digital Divide between America’s richest and poorest citizens.
The News Tribune continued explains:
Low-income households are far less likely to have internet at home than higher-income families. In its news release, Comcast cited research from the American Community Survey that found 56 percent of households earning less than $35,000 a year have broadband internet at home, compared to 92 percent of households earning more than $75,000 a year.
Internet Essentials is available to low-income residents of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia (DC).
Please keep in mind, though, that Internet Essentials is not available to all residents of those states. You can get more information, including a more detailed list of cities where Internet Essentials is available, on our Internet Essentials page.
You can get additional information on all the other low-income internet plans on our “Low-Income Internet” page.