Low-cost, high-speed service for families with children who qualify for the National School Lunch Program.
Bright House Networks is another member of Connect2Compete, the coalition of private companies and not-for-profit entities dedicated to reducing the Digital Divide that separates Americans into internet haves and internet have-nots.
If any child in your household is eligible for the National School Lunch Program and if you live in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana or Michigan, you may be able to get high-speed broadband internet access in your home for just $9.95 per month. The program is identical (with one exception) to Internet Essentials, the low-income, high-speed internet program offered across the country by Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV company.
Cable television is regulated on a city-by-city basis and each cable company is granted a monopoly in each city it serves. Unfortunately, those monopolies mean that competition is severely restricted and most people’s choice of cable companies is limited to one. Not all cable companies participate in the outstanding Connect2Compete program, but if you’re lucky enough to live in an area served by Bright House, you may be able to sign up for the company’s low-income program.
Details: The Bright House low-income high-speed internet plan (and a cheap computer)
If you live in a city or town served by Bright House and at least one child in your household qualifies for the National School Lunch Program, you may be able to get their Low-Income Internet for just $9.95 per month. Isn’t that great? Many financially-struggling Americans just can’t afford the typical sky-high subscription rates most companies charge for their lowest cost introductory plans and now they won’t need to worry about it.
(For example, the their Lite Internet plan with speed of up to 1Mbps costs $19.95 per month with a 12-month contract plus a $4.00 modem fee.) But when you sign up for the Connect2Compete plan, you get exactly the same service for just $9.95 per month guaranteed for up to 24 months.
More than just low-cost internet access. Much more.
Because Bright House participates in the Connect2Compete coalition, it offers much more than just affordable internet access.
Qualifying families will also be able to buy a refurbished desktop or laptop computer for the bargain price of just $149.99. It comes with 17” LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse, with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office software, a Core 2 Duo 1.86-2GHz processor, 2GB memory, 80GB hard drive, DVD, Ethernet and free shipping for $149.99 plus tax.
You’ll also be eligible to get the added protection of the Norton Security Suite, which gives you top notch online security. That typically costs $160 or more, but it’s absolutely free as part of the company’s Connect2Compete plan. But that’s not all. You’ll also be given access to free digital training that helps you get the most out of your new computer and online resources.
And finally, they requires no deposits, no contracts, no installation fees and no modem rental fees.
Do you qualify for Bright House low-income internet?
Far less than half the American families living below the poverty level currently have high speed internet access at home. That Digital Divide makes it very difficult for them to find and apply for jobs, makes it almost impossible for them to stay in touch with medical professionals, and keeps their children from competing on a level playing field in school.
But you can qualify for the Bright House Low-Income Internet program if at least one child in your home qualifies for the National School Lunch Program. Please note that we didn’t say that child needs to currently participate in the program, because you qualify for the internet provider’s low-income internet plan if your child qualifies for the lunch program, even if they do not currently participate in it.
A few little snags that will make you ineligible
Connect2Compete and Bright House Networks want to make it simple for you to qualify for low-cost, high speed internet access. However, the program does have a few rules that can make you ineligible. Here’s are those restrictions:
Snag #1: You cannot participate in the Bright House Connect2Compete program if you’ve been a Bright House customer within the last three months. The theory, as we understand it, is that the company figures you shouldn’t get the cheap rate if you’ve been able to pay the regular price. If you’re currently a customer, the only way around that regulation would be to cancel your current service now and wait to sign up in 90 days. If you’re a former customer, you must still wait out the full 90 days from the time you cancelled your last contract.
Snag #2: You are not eligible for the Bright House Connect2Compete plan if you’re a current or former Bright House customer and you have bill that’s more than 12 months overdue. The only way to become eligible for the program is to pay off that overdue bill.
Snag #3: If you’re a former Bright House customer, if they have you on record for not returning cable equipment you once had. Check out your storage closet and return the equipment to restore your eligibility.
Snag #4: Obviously, you must live in an area served by Bright House cable. According to our research, the company’s low-cost, high-speed internet service is available in 6 states — Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Michigan. See a full list of states and cities below.
The biggest snag of all
Most cable television companies that participate in the Connect2Compete program (like industry leader Comcast’s Internet Essentials, for example) allow customers to enroll in the program on a year round basis. Unfortunately, Bright House doesn’t.
Here’s how an email from the company explained the limited-time restriction to us: “We do participate in this particular program, however, it is only around September that we participate in it. This is a seasonal offer that we have which can only be requested from the middle of August to the middle of September, which is when most start up with school again for the year.”
We can understand the logic of offering a program aimed at school children to the beginning of the school year, but we also see the other side of the argument: Families fall into poverty every day of the year, and poverty-stricken families move from one school district to another every day of the year. So it’s horribly unfair to tell them they’d qualify for this program if only they had fallen into poverty sometime between the middle of August and the middle of September.
Unfortunately, what we (or you) feel about this very restrictive regulation is immaterial. The current rule says you can only sign up from mid-August to mid-September. And there’s nothing any of us can do about it. (Although it might help if enough of our readers called and emailed Bright House customer service to register their unhappiness about the situation.)
How to order Bright House low-income internet
Believe it or not, you can’t order their Low-Income Internet plan on the internet. A customer service rep told us, “This would be ordered via Bright House by calling 205-591-6880.”
(Yes, we find it extremely odd that you can’t order an internet plan online, but for some inexplicable reason, that’s the case.)
In fact, if you go to the Bright House website and search for the term “Connect2Compete,” you’ll find nothing. Absolutely nothing. Perhaps this is because the program is only offered seasonally (mid-August to mid-September). We just don’t know.
You two choices are simple:
Call Bright House at 205-591-6880 for more information when mid-August rolls around or go to Connect2Compete’s enrollment site, everyoneon.org. It won’t give you any Bright House-specific information, but it will give you more information on the Connect2Compete program in general.
And take it from us, it’s a great program that’s doing more than anything else to eliminate that Digital Divide that separates rich Americans from poor Americans.
Bright House Networks profile
The company was born in 2002 when cable giant Time-Warner Cable split with Advance Publications, its former cable partner in several regions across the country.
With approximately 2.5 million total customers in five states, the company says it is the nation’s sixth largest cable and broadband company. Other sources say it is the eighth largest with just over 2 million customers. Either way, Bright House is one of the industry’s largest providers.
In addition to digital cable, they also offers its customers other state-of-the-art services, including high-speed internet and home phone service and home security service.
Cities in which Bright House offers low-income internet
According to BroadbandNow.com, an outstanding website that covers everything its name implies, these are the cities, towns and metro areas in which Bright House Low-Income Internet is available.
ALABAMA – Abbeville, Adamsville, Adger, Alexander City, Ariton, Atmore, Auburn, ABanks, Bellwood, Bessemer, Birmingham, Black, Brewton, Brookwood, Brundidge, Camp Hill, Castleberry, Chancellor, Chelsea, Clayton, Clio, Clopton, Coffee Springs, Coosada, Dadeville, Daleville, Deatsville, Dolomite, Dothan, Eclectic, Elba, Elmore, Enterprise, Equality, Eufaula, Fairfield, Flomaton, Florala, Forest Home, Fort Deposit, Fultondale, Gardendale, Geneva, Georgiana, Greenville, Hartford, Hayneville, Helena, Honoraville, Kinston, Leeds, Letohatchee, Lockhart, Louisville, Loxley, Marbury, McCalla, McKenzie, Midway, Millbrook, Minter, Montgomery, Morris, Mount Olive, Mulga, New Brockton, New Castle, Newton, Notasulga, Ozark, Pelham, Pinson, Pleasant Grove, Prattville, Quinton, Robertsdale, Rutledge, Samson, Seminole, Shorterville, Skipperville, Slocomb, Tallassee, Titus, Trussville, Tuskegee, Vance, Verbena, Wetumpka, Woodstock
CALIFORNIA – Arvin, Bakersfield, Buttonwillow, Caliente, Delano, Edison, Fellows, Frazier Park, Keene, Lamont, Lebec, Lost Hills, Maricopa, McFarland, McKittrick, Mojave, Pine Mountain Club, Rosamond, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Tupman, Wasco, Weldon
FLORIDA – Alford, Altamonte Springs, Altha, Altoona, Anna Maria, Anthony, Apollo Beach, Apopka, Arcadia, Aripeka, Astatula, Astor, Auburndale, Avon Park, Babson Park, Baker, Balm, Bartow, Bay Pines, Belleair Beach, Belleview, Beverly Hills, Blountstown, Bonifay, Bowling Green, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Brandon, Bristol, Bronson, Brooksville, Bunnell, Bushnell, Campbellton, Cantonment, Cape Canaveral, Casselberry, Cedar Key, Center Hill, Century, Chattahoochee, Chiefland, Chipley, Christmas, Citra, Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Clermont, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Coleman, Cortez, Cottondale, Crescent City, Crestview, Crystal Beach, Crystal River, Dade City, Davenport, Daytona Beach, De Leon Springs, Debary, Defuniak Springs, Deland, Deltona, Dover, Dundee, Dunedin, Dunnellon, Eagle Lake, Eastlake Weir, Edgewater, Eglin Afb, Ellenton, Eustis, Fellsmere, Flagler Beach, Floral City, Fort Mc Coy, Fort Meade, Fort Walton Beach, Freeport, Frostproof, Fruitland Park, Geneva, Gibsonton, Gotha, Graceville, Grand Island, Grant, Greensboro, Gretna, Groveland, Gulf Breeze, Gulf Hammock, Haines City, Hernando, Holder, Holiday, Holt, Homeland, Homosassa, Hosford, Howey In The Hills, Hudson, Hurlburt Field, Indialantic, Indian Lake Estates, Indian Rocks Beach, Inglis, Intercession City, Inverness, Jay, Kathleen, Kenansville, Kissimmee, Lady Lake, Lake Alfred, Lake Como, Lake Hamilton, Lake Helen, Lake Mary, Lake Panasoffkee, Lake Wales, Lakeland, Lakeshore, Land O Lakes, Largo, Laurel Hill, Lecanto, Leesburg, Lithia, Longwood, Lutz, Maitland, Malabar, Marianna, Mary Esther, Mascotte, McDavid, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Merritt Island, Micanopy, Milton, Mims, Molino, Montverde, Morriston, Mount Dora, Mulberry, Myakka City, Nalcrest, New Port Richey, New Smyrna Beach, Niceville, Nobleton, Nokomis, North Port, Oak Hill, Oakland, Ocala, Ocklawaha, Ocoee, Odessa, Okeechobee, Oldsmar, Ona, Orange City, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Osteen, Otter Creek, Oviedo, Oxford, Palm Bay, Palm Coast, Palm Harbor, Palmetto, Parrish, Patrick AFB, Pensacola, Pierson, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Polk City, Pomona Park, Ponce De Leon, Port Orange, Port Richey, Quincy, Reddick, River Ranch, Riverview, Rockledge, Ruskin, Safety Harbor, Saint Augustine, Saint Cloud, Saint Petersburg, San Antonio, Sanford, Sarasota, Satellite Beach, Satsuma, Sebastian, Seffner, Seminole, Seville, Shalimar, Silver Springs, Sorrento, Spring Hill, Summerfield, Sumterville, Sun City Center, Tampa, Tarpon Springs, Tavares, The Villages, Thonotosassa, Titusville, Umatilla, Valparaiso, Valrico, Venice, Vernon, Wauchula, Wausau, Waverly, Webster, Weirsdale, Welaka, Wesley Chapel, Westville, Wildwood, Williston, Wimauma, Windermere, Winter Garden, Winter Haven, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Zellwood, Zephyrhills
GEORGIA – Georgetown, Morris
INDIANA – Amo, Anderson, Arcadia, Atlanta, Avon, Beech Grove, Brazil, Brownsburg, Camby, Carmel, Cicero, Clayton, Coatesville, Colfax, Converse, Crawfordsville, Danville, Elwood, Fairmount, Farmersburg, Fishers, Fortville, Gas City, Greenfield, Indianapolis, Ingalls, Jamestown, Jonesboro, La Fontaine, Lapel, Lebanon, Lewis, Lizton, Marion, Markleville, Matthews, McCordsville, Monrovia, Mooresville, New Ross, Noblesville, North Salem, Pendleton, Pimento, Pittsboro, Plainfield, Prairie Creek, Riley, Sheridan, Shirley, Stilesville, Swayzee, Sweetser, Terre Haute, Thorntown, Upland, Van Buren, West Newton, Westfield, Whitestown, Wilkinson, Zionsville
MICHIGAN – Bloomfield Hills, Commerce Township, Detroit, Farmington, Franklin, Livonia, Milford, New Hudson, Northville, Novi, Plymouth, Redford, South Lyon, Southfield, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, Wixom
Bright House is well aware that cable television franchises change hands every day. That’s why they recommend using their website’s zip search directory to find out if the offer service in your area.