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Communications The Internet United States

Comcast Expands $10 Low-Income Internet Plan (arstechnica.com) 61

Jon Brodkin, reporting for Ars Technica: Comcast's Internet Essentials program that provides $10-per-month Internet service to low-income families has been expanded to make about 1.3 million additional households eligible. Comcast created Internet Essentials in order to secure approval of its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011 and has decided to continue it indefinitely even though the requirement expired in 2014. Comcast says the 10Mbps plan has connected more than 600,000 low-income families since 2011, for a total of 2.4 million adults and children, and provided 47,000 subsidized computers for less than $150 each. Advocates for the poor have complained that the Internet Essentials service is too hard to sign up for, in part because of problems with the application process but also because it's usually only available to families with kids in school. That latter issue is what Comcast addressed today, announcing that "adults without a child eligible for the National School Lunch Program will be eligible to apply for Internet Essentials." Previously, pilot programs gave access to some low-income seniors and low-income community college students, but this is the first time that Internet Essentials will be available to adults without children nationwide.
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Comcast Expands $10 Low-Income Internet Plan

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  • Internet included in rent (mounting a cost of $2 per unit diffused through the renters) and, especially, low-cost Internet are impossible. I know this because everyone rails on my Citizen's Dividend plan for being so horrible as to put the jobless, homeless, unemployed into small apartments with food and clean water but, horrifically, NO MONEY FOR INTERNET, dooming them to a life without cat pictures which is infinitely worse than eating out of people's garbage.

  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @02:04PM (#52519451)

    We must agree to the TWC Comcast merger to support this generous company! They are really so good to people!

    • by rhazz ( 2853871 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @02:46PM (#52519721)
      It probably turns out that selling low-quality internet to the masses for $10/mo is still very profitable, especially when these new customers don't overlap the existing customer base forced to pay $60/mo.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      TWC and Comcast merger? That ended a while ago. Don't you mean TWC and Charter Communications?

  • "adults without a child eligible for the National School Lunch Program will be eligible to apply for Internet Essentials."

    In my part of the country, EVERY child is eligible for NSLP. Every child that wants a free lunch can get one, even during the summer when there is no school in session. It would be discriminatory or hurt the truly needy kid's self-esteem if anyone verified their status, so any "need" requirement was removed. School kitchens are now a year-round operation.

    Next year I hear they're going to provide clothing for free, and 24 months from now they're converting the school gyms into very large dorms to provide f

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      In my part of the country, EVERY child is eligible for NSLP.

      In my neighborhood, some of the kids appear to be getting three or four lunches a day. Can they do something similar with Comcast's plan and get a 50 MB/s connection?

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      That sounds good. Those kids are going to be more likely to grow up to be contributing members of society. You must be from a blue area of the country.
  • by colin_faber ( 1083673 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @02:11PM (#52519509)
    So Comcast is a government sanctioned monopoly, but some how are not subject to PUC regulation. This results in the garbage plans I'm forced to buy. Someone please explain to me why I can purchase a bundled package for $70 or so with internet, a rented cable box, and HBO, yet if I just want internet it's $150 a month. Why is such a bullshit pricing scheme allowed to continue? If Comcast can deliver the service for $70, than a lesser service should never exceed that price. Where's the PUC when you need them? Nowhere, as most of them are bought off. I sure as hell don't expect anything to change if the NBC/Comcast candidate wins the presidency.
    • So Comcast is a government sanctioned monopoly,

      No they aren't.

      but some how are not subject to PUC regulation.

      Federal pre-emption of a communications service by the federal communications agency.

      Someone please explain to me why I can purchase a bundled package for $70 or so with internet, a rented cable box, and HBO,

      You're getting a pretty good deal. Without HBO I'm paying $140.

      Why is such a bullshit pricing scheme allowed to continue?

      Ummm, because nobody forces you to watch HBO or cable, so you can easily take advantage of the bundled deal and save a lot of money. Put the cable box on the shelf, connect the Internet, and you're good to go. The Internet doesn't stop working when the cable box isn't connected.

    • Is that $70/month or $70/month*. There is a big difference with the '*' usually meaning that in 6 months time the rate will become huge. At least that's the trick they use all the time here in Canada. Still US$70/month is only a bit more that I pay here for just internet alone. Mind you I don't have to deal with Comcast which is probably worth quite a bit per month.
    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Obama and friends have been trying to make Internet service regulated as a utility for several years now, but of course, the Republicans have stopped that so that they can continue to get their bribes.
      • Obama and friends have been trying to make Internet service regulated as a utility for several years now, but of course, the Republicans have stopped that so that they can continue to get their bribes.

        Why do the Republicans want "they" (Obama and friends) to continue to get bribes?

  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @02:12PM (#52519515)
    I knew being poor in America sucked, but I never realized it would mean having Comcast as your only affordable option. Isn't that a human rights violation or something?
    • I believe there are still free or very low cost dial-up services around.

      My grandparents use Netscape dial-up still...

  • My daughter cant get Section 8 housing because she works a part time job. She can barely afford the crap trailer she lives in, but she is somewhat self supporting.

    So it's a big fuck you to those that are trying to be self sufficient but cant afford the normal Comcast $80 a month for 15mbps

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      My daughter cant get Section 8 housing because she works a part time job. She can barely afford the crap trailer she lives in, but she is somewhat self supporting.

      So it's a big fuck you to those that are trying to be self sufficient but cant afford the normal Comcast $80 a month for 15mbps

      Assuming she lives in a trailer park where trailers tend to be rather close together, couldn't she go in with 1-2 neighbors, have one of them sign up for internet and set up a wireless router, and then they can all chip in for the bill? Or, you know, you could throw your daughter $50 a month to help. Or really, if she is that bad off, why doesn't she live with you to help offset expenses?

      • by zabbey ( 985424 )
        Poor people will ultimately fuck each other over. One of them will probably download something illegal and f the other two or the one with the box will hold it hostage until the other 2 agree on something childish and/or ridiculous.
        • Because we all know a rich/'rich' person would never slip child porn onto a device of someone they don't like then call the FBI on them.... How about sop hating the poor and if you are not going to help people in neef, keep quiet and just load up on Game Of Thrones on your 80 inch smart TV and stop being such a hateful, miserable fuck?
  • . . . but this is the first time that Internet Essentials will be available to adults without children nationwide.

    In order to get on the "Internet Essentials, for adults without children" plan, you promise to give all of your future children to Comcast to work in their call centers.

  • Cause that's what a low income family pays in a First World Nation.

    Not $10 a month for a data capped 40 Mbps sub-par service that might as well be in Africa like we have in the US.

  • I'm guessing there's at least $10 for renting the box from them ... and another $5 in various fees.

    (yes, I'm being snarky, but I'd also really like to know what people actually have to pay for the service).

  • Hillary could have cinched the black vote if this was 'her' program with her label and face on it.
  • I heard that you can get the older Blackberries as an Obamaphone, so why dosen't the gov't have Safelink provide wireless data with that, or at least offer it for 5 - 10$ You can also buy a low end tablet for less than 50 now. Usualy the screen isn't too good, and the Android OS is an older version, but that should be enough for most web browsing. Why don't local gov'ts then roll out city wide WI-FI (and tell the companies who try to stop this "fuck you" instead of kow towing to them), and offer tablets at
  • One question...

    Is the data capped at 64K a month?

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