Unbelievable as this may sound, it’s 100% true. We’ve verified it for ourselves. And for you.
One of the Federal Communications Commission’s primary goals over the course of the next few years is to reduce the digital divide between rich and poor Americans. As part of that effort, they are encouraging a variety of cheap internet access programs. A little known part of those programs offer personal computers for as low as $149.
Three of the major programs are Internet Essentials, a program put together by cable television giant Comcast; Internet Basics, a very similar program from CenturyLink, one of the nation’s largest telephone companies; and Connect2Compete, an effort put together by a partnership between major public and private organizations.
(NOTE: We’re including Connect2Compete on this list of sources for $150 computers, but there is still some question as to whether the organization’s hype lives up to its reality. As far as we can tell, Connect2compete either directs you to Internet Essentials or Internet Basics where one of those organizations will actually become the source of your computer. If neither of those organizations are available where you live, you’ll be directed to Amazon, New Egg, Tiger Direct, Best Buy or Google Play where you’ll be shown the same retail price that’s available to any Tom, Dick or Harry who walks in off the street. In other words, Connect2Compete, despite its claims to the contrary, seems to be an insignificant player in the $150 computer business.)
Your own personal computer discounted as low as $149
For just $150 (plus tax, shipping and handling), Internet Basics will give you a new netbook. Both desktop PCs and laptop models are available. For one cent less, qualifying families will be able to purchase an internet-ready PC (laptop or desktop) from Internet Essentials. There are no activation fees, nor extra equipment fees to worry about. And believe it or not, the personal computer also comes loaded with world renowned the Norton Security Suite of software that provides you with top level online security. That’s worth an additional $160, but you get it absolutely free. All the computers from each of the organizations have been completely refurbished and are ready-to-go.
Now, we don’t want to make this sound like one of those late night infomercials, but wait! There’s more!
Both programs also include training, either over the internet or in person at more than 100 training centers across the country. Internet Basics offers free introductory computer education classes while Connect to Compete customers pay a small $1 fee per class.
The Internet Basics computer also comes with a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, 24/7 technical support, plus parental controls. You’ll even get your own customizable CenturyLink home page.
In some cities across the country, community organizations are working with Internet Basics and Internet Essentials to get these computers into the hands of needy Americans as efficiently as possible. For example, in Seattle a group called Interconnection will help you with all the application materials for Internet Essentials and Internet Basics. Interconnection is part of a national network of community-based organizations, so ask around about similar groups in your area.
Do you qualify for one of these free computers?
Who qualifies for these low-priced personal computers? Millions of American families and you may be part of one.
You may be eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program if at least one child in your household is eligible for the National School Lunch Program. The word eligible is key because your household may qualify for a cheap computer if one of your children is eligible, even if they do not currently participate in it.
You may be eligible for CenturyLink’s Internet Essentials is anyone in your household currently participates in a Federal or State government assistance programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Section 8 housing or a number of other programs. You may also qualify if your household’s total annual income is less than 135% of current federal guidelines in most states or even up to 150% in some others (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas).