The government required Comcast to provide cheap Internet options to low-income families when it purchased NBCUniversal in 2011. The company then created the Internet Essentials program that gives qualified families access for $10 a month.
Now that Comcast is trying to buy Time Warner, so it's adding even more features to Internet Essentials. Mainly, the company is making it even easier to qualify for the program by offering a debt amnesty program. In the past, customers couldn't sign up if they had an overdue bill with Comcast. It will also give new qualified customers who sign up before September 20 six months of free service.
Comcast is also doubling Internet speeds in certain cities for free. Click here to find out if you qualify for an upgrade.
The new features of the program will forgive debts over a year old so families can sign up for Internet Essentials. It's also offering computers that families can buy for less than $150. Comcast is connecting with schools and the community through PSAs to inform the public about the program.
Throughout the back to school season, Comcast will actively engage with parents, teachers, non-profit partners, and elected officials to help spread the word to low-income families about the program," the company said in its announcement. "The Company plans to air an unprecedented number of public service announcements that promote the new, six months complimentary offer, and to focus on schools where 100 percent of students receive a free lunch through the National School Lunch Program and can therefore automatically apply.
The Internet Essentials gives customers 5 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds. The program has been extended from its original June 2014 cutoff date and no new date has been announced.