I’ve recently heard that Comcast will begin offering a $10 monthly Internet plan for low-income families. I personally think that this is a neat idea because it is a great opportunity to allow even the less fortunate members of society to access the world wide web. Granted, it’s not like these members are flat out denied Internet access as it is. Many places offer free wireless internet access such as cafe shops and the public library. By subscribing to Comcast’s $10 a month internet plan, dubbed Internet Essentials, these users now have something they can call their own. Obviously, it’s a lot more convenient to be able to access the internet in your own home rather than having to travel elsewhere first.
As stated, this monthly internet plan is only eligible for certain family households. Here’s whats listed on Comcast’s own FAQ page:
Who is eligible for Internet Essentials?
- Is located where Comcast offers Internet service
- Has at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
- Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
- Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
The download and upload speed of Internet Essentials are 1.5Mbps (192KBps) and 384KBps, respectively. That is way more than enough to surf the internet, download files and documents, watch Youtube videos and heck, even play on Xbox Live. Basically, it’s a good deal. Of course, whether you qualify or not I have no clue. One of their main requirement is that you have at least one child receiving free school lunches. Not reduced price, but free. I thought this is a good deal and so I wanted to write about it to spread the awareness factor. If you or you know of someone who might qualify for this plan, you might want to give them the heads-up. Comcast promises that as long as you are enrolled in their program, you will not see a price increase. Every month you will continue to pay $9.99 + tax. Comcast is also eliminating any activation fees or equipment rental charge (whether you think it’s secretly included in the monthly $9.99 price tag is up to you).
Alright, so Comcast gives you a cheap internet plan should you qualify. But what good is having a internet plan if you don’t have or can’t afford a computer? For those who qualify for Internet Essentials, Comcast is also giving them an opportunity to purchase a netbook computer equipped with Windows 7 Starter for just $149. It remains to be seen what the specs are for the netbook but I’m guessing it should be your generic type netbook that you see in most electronic stores. At $149, I believe it’s a very good deal. When I saw the cheap price tag, I initially thought that they would scrap the Windows 7 Starter operating system and instead include Linux Ubuntu instead since it’s completely free. But no, I was wrong.
What This Means
In my opinion, the internet is a privilege and not a right. However, that doesn’t mean that only families making a certain amount of money each year be the only one’s to have that privilege. If I’m a hard working individual that provides just enough for my family and one that probably works even harder than those making more money than me, why can’t I also have that privilege? Comcast’s Internet Essential aims to fill in that gap. Like I said at the top, 192KBps download speed is plenty enough for your average Internet citizen. For $9.99 a month, it shouldn’t put too big of a dent on a family household. Matter of fact, I’m surprised that Comcast didn’t put a data cap on the Internet Essential plan. This makes it a even more attractable package.I’m looking at the FAQs page but I couldn’t find anything about whether or not you are required to sign a contract of some sort. It would be absolutely horrific if a family were to cancel their Internet Essential plan only to find out that they have to pay a early termination fee!