Friday, August 21, 2015

Comcast Bolsters INTERNET ESSENTIALS Program for Low-Income Michigan Families

Comcast is bolstering its Internet Essentials program for low-income Michigan families by doubling download speeds and providing routers for in-home Wi-Fi service at no additional cost to participants' existing monthly bills.  Internet Essentials provides low-cost high-speed Internet service for $9.95 per month plus tax, makes available multiple avenues to access free digital literacy training, and the option to purchase a low-cost Internet-ready computer for about $150 dollars.  To participate in Internet Essentials, a family must have at least one child residing in their household who is eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, charter, and homeschooled students.

Nearing its fifth year of availability, Internet Essentials has made the world wide web accessible to nearly 29,000 Michigan families.  The program was created to provide easier access to the Internet and close the digital divide that separates communities into information haves-and have-nots based on socio-economic conditions.  According to the Federal Communications Commission as many as 1 in 3 households do not subscribe to broadband service at any speed because of a lack of affordability and interest.  In Detroit, the numbers are even higher including seven out of 10 children not having access to the Internet at home, limiting their ability to take advantage of online resources for education, employment, and healthcare.

For more information or to apply for the program, visit or call 1-855-846-8376, or, for Spanish, 1-855-765-6995. No credit check, no contract, no installation fee required. 

“The Digital Divide isn’t confined to certain buildings or neighborhoods in Detroit or in any other city or town,” said Comcast’s Heartland Regional Senior Vice President Tim Collins. “From day one, our goal has been to make Internet Essentials available wherever inequality exists, and to keep enhancing and expanding the program to serve the broadest number of families possible across entire communities, wherever they might be located.

Internet Essentials has been available in Michigan and across the United States in areas serviced by Comcast since 2011.   Since the program’s inception, Comcast has made 25 key enhancements to Internet Essentials, and this is the third time in four years Comcast has increased speeds for customers. The current speed is doubling to up to 10 Mbps downstream, which is enough to power multiple devices simultaneously. In addition, by offering Wi-Fi routers, customers will be able to connect any Internet-enabled device, including tablets and smartphones, which could help save money on monthly wireless bills.

To receive the faster Internet speed, customers simply need to reboot their cable modems. Existing customers who would like a Wi-Fi router just need to call the dedicated call center and either request to have one shipped to them for free, or they can schedule a professional installation, also for no additional cost. New customers will have the option to receive a Wi-Fi router when they sign up.

**Disclaimer** I have been provided a complimentary subscription to the Xfinity TV Go app and access to the Comcast cable programming lineup as part of the Xfinity blogger reviewer program.  #Xfinityreviewer

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