To help low-income families in this tough economy, there is a company willing to help. Cable television and high-speed internet provider, Comcast, is launching a new plan aimed at low-income families to help bring them to the digital world. The plan will be called Internet Essentials and will be available to all areas that Comcast serves.

Earlier this year, Comcast had a promise to provide service to low-income families after acquiring NBC Universal. When Comcast announced the acquisition of NBC Universal, regulators required the company to help low-income households get online before they approved the acquisition of NBC.

As of right now, Comcast has launched a website in English and Spanish to help get the word out to people.

Under the initiative, families will get literacy training and Internet service for $9.95 a month (plus taxes). Hispanic and African-American communities are expected to benefit the most, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen says.

“When we look around the country, we see the disparities that exist,” he says. “Quite frankly, people in lower-income communities, mostly people of color, have such limited access to broadband than people in wealthier communities.”

The program is open to students in grades K-12. Texas, California, and Florida have the highest eligibility rates.

(source WLRN-Miami Herald)

Also, families who are in the service will receive a voucher allowing them to purchase a new computer for $149.99 (predicting it is some Pentium based computer).

Before users can jump into the service, users will have to prove they meet eligibility requirements. Some of the eligibility requirements are as listed.

  • Is located where Comcast offers Internet service
  • Has at least one child eligible to receive a free school lunch
  • A household of three would have to make less than $25,000 a year in income
  • Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
  • Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment

Although there is a lot of eligibility requirements, this is still better service than other low-cost dial-up internet. If you are a low-income family, I would highly suggest opting in to the service. Although it may not be the fastest service around, it will still be better than a 56k dial-up service for the price.

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