When the entire world is trying to manage the COVID-19 emergency, staying connected with workplaces, families, and schools to keep life running smoothly or to get the most up-to-date information about this pandemic is critical.
However, in this uncertain environment, it is difficult for millions of low-income people all over the world to manage home internet service.
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However, internet access has become mandatory as well as more important for almost everyone, and families are encouraged to have it at home when businesses and schools are closed.
In these circumstances, Comcast has launched an Internet Essentials program for low-income people, which is one of the most comprehensive and largest broadband adoption programs in the United States. Here are Comcast’s $9.99 internet deals for low-income families without further ado.
Xfinity $9.99 Internet For Low-Income Families And Seniors
Comcast $9.99 internet for low-income families is a low-cost program that provides internet access to all low-income households, seniors, and people with disabilities in their service area.
This internet service is available to nearly 7 million people for the low monthly fee of $9.95.
COMCAST’S INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM IS ANNOUNCED
Comcast introduced this low-cost internet at home nearly 8 years ago for poor children who get free or low-cost lunch at school to access the internet from home.
Since then, this program has been modified 11 times to include people receiving public housing benefits and low-income veterans, allowing them to access the internet from their homes at a low cost. This service provider has also provided this service to eligible senior citizens in certain cities.
PURPOSE OF THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS CHEAP INTERNET SERVICE
According to David Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast, this is the largest expansion because it allows disabled people to experience the digital world in the comfort of their own homes. In comparison to people with normal physical conditions, most disabled people may not have ever gone online.
Even after the implementation of a low-cost Internet Essentials program, it is expected that nearly 20% of these disabled people will not apply for a broadband connection at their home.
He went on to say that the recent expansion of their internet services is the result of their goal when this program was launched in 2011 to bring low-income people significantly closer to the digital world they lack.
Cohen stated once more that the internet is one of the most significant technological innovations in history. If millions of people and families in America have access to it at a low cost, it has the potential to change their lives.
GETTING RID OF UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE DIGITAL WORLD
When President Trump, Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission discussed the gap in access to the digital world and focused on connecting people in rural areas to broadband infrastructure, Comcast introduced Comcast $9.99 internet for low-income families.
DUE TO THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
- The lack of a facility: The lack of a facility in many cities and suburbs is the primary reason for the disparity in access to the digital world between low-income and affluent families.
- Income disparity: This divide is most pronounced in cities with the highest levels of poverty. According to US Census data, people living in the poorest cities may be deprived of broadband connections at home ten times more than those living in high-income communities. For example, nearly 94 percent of people in California, Palo Alto, Maryland, and Bethesda, among other low-income areas, are connected to the internet. On the other hand, more than 60% of people in low-income areas such as New Jersey, Flint, Michigan, and Trenton, among others, do not have access to broadband at home.
- Affordability: Another reason for the gap in internet connection accessibility, according to Cohen, is its affordability. The complexity of digital skills, literacy, a lack of obvious interest or need, and fear can all be major barriers to having internet access at home. The cost of purchasing a computer, as well as the cost of a monthly home internet subscription, can be additional barriers in this direction.
HOW CAN THE INTERNET ESSENTIALS PROGRAM HELP PEOPLE WITH LOW INCOME?
Internet Essentials, Comcast’s $9.99 internet for low-income families, was introduced to address three issues: providing low-cost internet service and computers for less than $150. Comcast has solved these issues by subsidizing both.
This company has also focused on the third issue of educating people about the benefits of the digital world by providing digital training to low-income people through several nonprofit organizations across the country, allowing people to benefit from their program.
OTHERS’ THOUGHTS ON COMCAST’S PROGRAM
Various studies have revealed that the Comcast-initiated program has enabled more than 1200 people to use Internet Essentials services this year after receiving digital training from various institutions across the country.
According to John Horrigan of the Institute of Technical Policy, Internet Essentials users are more eager to receive digital training. In the last three months, nearly 35% of trainees gained digital skills after enrolling in the training program, while the remaining candidates desired advanced training on data security and privacy.
Nearly 60% of them wanted to improve their communication with the children in their school, and more than 50% were interested in job or workforce development training.
Horrigan went on to say that if the main goal of the Comcast $9.99 internet for low-income families is to improve their lives by enabling them to get online access, digital training provided at community centers such as libraries and schools can be more helpful in making people aware of the digital world.
COMCAST’S EFFORTS TO SPREAD THEIR PROGRAM
Comcast’s Cohen added that they will use their relationships with established groups such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, among others, to assist in providing the training required for people to benefit from their program.
He went on to say that they have relationships with almost all of the major American organizations for disabled people, both locally and nationally.
And they rely heavily on these organizations to assist them in gaining access to disabled people in order to provide similar services to them. Boys and Girls Clubs of America have created specific programs for families with school-age children as well as school-aged children to connect with their program.
COMCAST FACED CRITICISM
Comcast has received criticism from users of its Comcast $9.99 internet for low-income families program for a variety of reasons. Users of Internet Essentials have criticized Comcast for capping download speeds at 15 Mbps, when the FCC requires at least 25 Mbps.
Cohen responded by stating that the speed of 15 Mbps is sufficient for Internet Essential customers to do what they want on the internet. With this bandwidth, they can stream videos or access educational programs at home.
He reiterated that there is no additional charge for the modem provided to families because it is provided as part of the free Wi-Fi connection at home to instantly connect them with multiple devices. He also chastised the FCC for defining broadband as a speed of 25 Mbps.
He later added that the FCC’s decisions on broadband speed are heavily influenced by politics, even if they are respected. Despite the fact that the FCC has made no suggestions regarding the inefficiency of Internet Essentials’ 15 Mbps download speed, their program provides a good internet experience.
He also stated that Comcast has increased the speed of Internet Essentials connections four times since 2011. It allows users to work at a downloading speed of 1.5 Mbps.
Cohen also stated that by launching their program, they attempted to achieve their goal of connecting people to the digital world via the internet. This program’s 15 Mbps downloading speed can aid in providing the best results. They promise to increase this speed in the future if their strategy changes, as they have done four times previously.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO USE INTERNET ESSENTIALS?
Everyone who can demonstrate participation in one or more government assistance programs, such as SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SSI or the Supplemental Security Income program, or Medicaid, can be eligible to use Comcast $9.99 internet for low-income families or Internet Essentials.
A person who qualifies for the National School Lunch Program, the Pension Program for Veterans, living in a public housing society, receiving Section 8 vouchers from HUD Housing, students in community college, and seniors with low income can apply for Internet Essentials with Comcast.
Thus, Comcast’s $9.99 internet for low-income families can help close the digital divide by connecting everyone to the digital world.
How can I get 10 dollars a month on WiFi?
The Lifeline Program of the FCC. This discount is available to people whose income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty line. In addition, a family may be eligible if they participate in other federal assistance programs. A broadband internet connection costs $9.95 per month for those who qualify.
What is the cheapest Xfinity internet only plan?
Xfinity’s most affordable internet-only plan is the Xfinity Performance Starter Plus, which offers 50 Mbps for $34.99 per month.
What is the internet speed for internet Essentials?
The Internet service speed for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers is now 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream! There is no need to do anything; the increase applies to both new and existing customers.