ComcastInternet Essentials – Reduced Broadband for Families with Children in the National School Lunch Program

Thanks to Bill Coleman for sending me the details on the Comcast deal. I wasn’t able to find a map of Comcast’s coverage in Minnesota, but I was able to find a web site where you could plug in your address and see if you qualify. I think the coverage with be Twin Cities heavy. I’ve seen a few discussions of this deal on various community/nonprofit email lists. Folks were asking if anyone had heard of any hiccups in the systems for the families – but so far I’ve heard nothing. I think it’s another great example of the providers stepping up to help broaden adoption.


Internet Essentials Provides Low-Cost Internet Service, Affordable Computers and
Digital Literacy Training to Families with Children in the National School Lunch Program

Recently, Comcast launched a program it calls “Internet Essentials”, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption experiment. It’s the first program to address three of the primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified – 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful; 2) the cost of a home computer, and 3) the cost of the Internet service. Available this fall to low-income families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program, the goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer.

Internet EssentialsSM from Comcast is one of the first programs of its type to directly confront the digital divide by providing affordable access to quality home Internet service, a discount-priced computer and Internet training to families that have at least one child who receives free lunches through the National School Lunch Program. Internet Essentials will be available in the 2011 “Back to School” season.

For $9.95 per month, participating families receive:

  • XFINITY Internet Economy Service (currently up to 1.5 Mbps download)
  • Option to purchase a computer for under $150
  • Access to online, in print and classroom digital literacy training

A household is eligible to participate in Internet Essentials if it:

  • Is located where Comcast offers Internet service
  • Has at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days, and
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment

Internet Essentials can help students, families and the community in several ways:

  • It will provide low-income students with access to the Internet and all it has to offer at home;
  • Enable teachers to use online resources and tools to expand the flow of information and personalize learning opportunities for students;
  • And, allow parents to become more engaged with their children’s education.

We need everyone’s help to reach those who will benefit from Internet Essentials. For more information and to print or order fliers and brochures to help promote this new program at no charge, please visit

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, education, Funding, MN, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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