Almost everything can be done on the internet these days. Staying in touch with friends, completing assignments online, bank transfers, check cashing, enjoying entertainment, the list just goes on and on. You can probably get by without internet but your life will be a lot more tedious than those who do use internet. If you can’t pay the usual $50+ fee for high speed internet with generous bandwidth, don’t fret. There are low cost options available out there.
Internet Essentials from Comcast*
Internet Essentials is a special initiative by Comcast to provide internet to eligible families for the cost of just $9.95 + tax a month, for a pretty decent 10 Mbps connection. To soften the blow even further, this offering comes with a waiver of equipment fees as well, so you don’t pay for your modem and Wi-Fi router.
Comcast also does not require a credit check or a long term contract to provide this service.
Besides the great price cuts, Comcast goes a step further to give people without a background in computers and internet a crash course, so they can familiarize themselves with current digital trends.
To see if you qualify, please go to www.internetessentials.com now. We have also laid out the bare eligibility requirements below. We have also talked about similar offerings from AT&T and Cox, the two other major telecommunications players in the market today.
Will I qualify for Internet Essentials by Comcast?
Do you have at least one child who qualified for the National School Lunch Program?
The National School Lunch Program is a Federally assisted program that provides nutritious but free meal programs to school kids from impoverished families.
Your school going child may qualify for the National School Lunch program if your 2 member family earns less than $29,537 on an annual basis. For a three member family, the cut off limit is $37,296 and it is $44,955 for a 4 member family. For a full list, please visit this link. The quoted numbers are for school year 2016 – 2017.
Did you use Comcast internet services in the past 90 days?
If you have used any of Comcast’s internet service in the past 90 days and now want to drop those services to avail Internet Essentials, you are out of luck. You will have to wait for a period of 90 days without using Comcast Internet services to become eligible to apply for Internet Essentials.**
You will also not qualify for Internet Essentials if you have outstanding bills with Comcast.**
Comcast Pilot Program that offers low cost internet services to Community College students
Comcast has rolled out a Pilot program where they are offering Internet Essentials to community college students in Colorado and Illinois. The requirements to be able to qualify as community college student is that said student must be a Pell Grant recipient and enrolled in at least a 2 year community college program.
Currently, the pilot program is only available to students enrolled in the following community colleges in Colorado and Illinois.
Colorado – Aims Community College, Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, and more.
Illinois – Southwestern Illinois College, Black Hawk College, Malcolm X College, Harry S Truman College, Illinois Central College, Kishwaukee College, Triton College and More.
See complete list of eligible community colleges in Illinois and Colorado here.
Besides low cost internet, Comcast through Internet Essentials is also offering students the option to buy a computer for just $149.99, one that comes with Microsoft Office, Norton Security and also a 90 day warranty. Internet Essentials is also offering a 90 day warranty on this computer.
Comcast Pilot program that offers low cost internet to Senior Citizens
Internet Essentials by Comcast is also extending a pilot program where it offers the $9.95 a month internet plan to seniors. The pilot is currently only being offered in Boston, Palm Beach County, Philadelphia, San Francisco County and Seattle.
To qualify, seniors must be at least 62 years old. They must also be receiving some some of Federal assistance or State assistance. Qualifying senior citizens also have the chance to purchase a computer for $149.99, as explained just above.
Low Cost Internet from AT&T Access*
AT&T, like Comcast, offers a 10 Mbps connection for just $10 a month through their Access program. They also offer a 3 Mbps connection for $5 a month. Their requirements is that the recipient reside in a family where at least one occupant qualifies for food stamps, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The AT&T access program does not levy an activation fee and will also not require recipients to pay for equipment such as a Wi-Fi modem.
Connect2Compete from Cox*
A program very similar to Internet Essentials and AT&T Acccess, Connect2Compete from Cox will offer a $9.95 10 Mbps internet connection to a household that has at least one child who qualifies for the National School Lunch Program.
Customers will also be approved if one of the family members is a recipient of the SNAP (food stamps), TANF or public housing program.
*Even if you do meet requirements to qualify for low cost internet, the service provider has the final say in deciding whether you will be approved or not.
**These rules applicable to Comcast are also applicable to AT&T Access and Cox Connect2Compete.