Comcast Internet Essentials: low-cost internet and tech resources for even more families

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Comcast Internet Essentials, but all thoughts and opinions remain ours. Comcast Cares Internet EssentialsDo you remember my posts about the awesome Internet Essential program that offers low-cost internet to families in need? Well, now it’s going to get even awesome-er.

Just yesterday Comcast announced the largest expansion ever for the Internet Essential program low-cost internet program. This new expansion makes 832,000 people statewide, and nearly 100,000 households in the greater Seattle area eligible for low-cost, high-speed internet, and technology resources, all starting at a shockingly low $9.95/month.

Comcast Internet Essentials Back to School Events - Jacksonville
(Joy Asico/Comcast)

Why Comcast Internet Essentials?

In this era of technology and connectivity, we all know that Internet is at the center of everything families and individuals do. This doesn’t just include fun activities like surfing the web or seeing the newest cat video – internet is now all but required for attending school, getting {and staying} employed, and even for participating in local and federal aid programs.

And sure, everyone *can* ride a bus and then stand in line at the library to use their public internet, but sometimes that’s just not practical. This is especially true in a day and age when it’s assumed people get emails immediately and potentially missing opportunities because of lack of internet. As you can imagine, that could have devastating effects. Imagine finding out a day too late that you’ve secured the perfect job for you so you can best support your family because you needed to go to the library to get the acceptance email and couldn’t make it there in time.

That’s why Internet Essentials exists. It levels the playing field by offering low cost internet to families who need it most. I’ve personally helped sign up numerous families for the service here in my neighborhood and community, and it makes me feel so good to be able to tell families that they can, in fact, afford the internet even though they don’t think they can. Seeing their faces when you tell them it’s only $9.95 a month is the absolute best, and I love checking back in with them to hear how happy they are months later now that they can access what they need from home.

Internet Essentials - Kids Using Laptop 2 (2)But, that’s not all!

Comcast Internet Essentials doesn’t just include connectivity to the internet, the program also includes multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person. Even better, it also gives the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150, and that’s all in addition to their low-cost, high-speed Internet service that is only $9.95 a month plus tax.

According to U.S. Census data, households living in cities with the highest poverty rates, are up to 10 times more likely than those in higher earning communities not to have fixed broadband at home. For example, in Palo Alto, California, or Bethesda, Maryland – where poverty rates are very low – only about six percent of households do not have a broadband Internet subscription – 94 percent are connected.  But in Trenton, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan – where poverty rates are way above the national average – up to 60 percent of households do not have fixed broadband at home – that is, less than half are connected.  That gap of more than 50 points defines the digital divide in this country. Comcast is working to close that digital divide, and I’m so happy to be working with them to share how they are changing the future of so many families and communities.

So, what about this expansion?

Comcast is now expanding eligibility for Internet Essential program {which is already the nation’s largest and most comprehensive and most successful broadband adoption program} to include all qualified low-income households in Washington state.  The expansion is the most significant change in the program’s history. To give you some scope, Comcast estimates that more than three million additional low-income households are now eligible to apply nationwide, and that includes approximately 208,000 additional families in the state of Washington.

This new expansion makes low-cost internet and technology resources available to more than 93,000 low-income households in the Puget Sound alone. That’s huge, folks. Internet Essentials-Timeline-Graphic-2019[1] (2)

Over the last eight years, Comcast has connected nearly 55,000 households in Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue and has helped 216,000 children and adults with affordable access to internet and technology resources. This new announcement follows 11 prior eligibility expansions, including last year’s extension of the program to low-income military Veterans.

“This expansion is the culmination of an audacious goal we set eight years ago, which was to meaningfully and significantly close the digital divide for low-income Americans,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal.  “The Internet is arguably the most important technological innovation in history, and it is unacceptable that we live in a country where millions of families and individuals are missing out on this life-changing resource.  Whether the Internet is used for students to do their homework, adults to look for and apply for new jobs, seniors to keep in touch with friends and family, or veterans to access their well-deserved benefits or medical assistance, it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age.”

How to apply for Comcast Internet Essentials

To be eligible to apply to the program, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more of a dozen different federal assistance programs.  These include: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  A full list of these programs can be found at the Internet Essentials website. Internet Essentials - Boy Holding Sign (2)

The program already accepts applications from households that have a student eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, live in public housing or receive HUD Housing Assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, or participate in the Veterans Pension Program, as well as low-income seniors and community college students in select pilot markets.

For more information, or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit Internet Essentials website or call 1-855-846-8376.  Spanish-only speakers can also call 1-855-765-6995.

2 thoughts on “Comcast Internet Essentials: low-cost internet and tech resources for even more families”

  1. I’ve never heard of this before, but after looking into it, I’m really excited for all the possibilities. I’m sending this link to my friends that could use a little help right now.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.