According to our calculations, millions of needy Americans who had been excluded from new cheap internet access programs may now be eligible. The only catch is that all the companies participating in the program would have to match Comcast’s new, expanded eligibility rules. And it’s our opinion that they should.
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, recently announced that it has expanded the eligibility for its “Internet Essentials” program. As a result, nearly 300,000 additional low-income households nationwide will now be eligible.
In the program’s first year, families were eligible only if they had a student who qualified for the national free school lunch program. Now Comcast has expanded the program to include families with students who qualify for reduced-price school lunches. According to Comcast, that increases the number of eligible households from 2 million to 2.3 million, an increase of 15%.
That number seems to correspond to national numbers. According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service, 16.5 million students participated in the free National School Lunch Program) and another 3.2 million students participated in the reduced-price lunch program in 2009.
The last three years have wreaked havoc on the nation’s poor and CheapInternet.com estimates that both numbers may have grown by at least 30%.
The inescapable conclusion is that more than 4 million additional students’ families would now be eligible for cheap internet access at home if all the companies that participate in the program would follow the lead of Comcast’s Internet Essentials and expand the eligibility guidelines.
Everything you need to know about Internet Essentials and other similar programs is explained in detail at CheapInternet.com, the nation’s leading source for information on the burgeoning cheap internet for the poor industry.
Times are tough and internet access has never been more important. That’s why we strongly urge all the other programs, national and local, to match Comcast’s efforts and expand the eligibility of their programs.