Written by For Reading Eagle
PHILADELPHIA — Comcast has announced a major expansion to its Internet Essentials program, which provides home internet access for low-income individuals. The company is expanding eligibility for the program to include all low-income households in its service area.
The expansion — which is the largest in the program’s history, according to the company — will make an additional 3 million low-income households eligible for the program, including those with disabilities and seniors. As a result, Comcast estimates a total of about 7 million households now have access to low-cost Internet service, doubling the total number of previously eligible households, according to a press release.
To be eligible for the program, low-income applicants will need to show they are participating in one of more than a dozen different government assistance programs including: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Supplemental Security Income. A full list of the programs can be found at www. internetessentials.com. Applications are already accepted 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, according to the company.
“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,” David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer of Comcast NBCUniversal, said in the release. “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.”
Since August 2011, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than 8 million low-income individuals, from 2 million households, to the Internet at home, many for the first time ever, according to the release.
For more information or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit www.internetessentials. com or call 855-846-8376.