One of my biggest callings in life is to take it to “the man”, and there is no bigger “man” out there than Comcast. I’ve previously highlighted how to avoid Comcast’s modem rental fee, how to replace Comcast’s modem with your own, how to get Comcast discounts, how to negotiate with Comcast, and even how to get rid of Comcast DVR & set top box fees. Well, here’s another way to avoid their excessively overpriced fees.
If you have a child who is eligible for a free or reduced lunch program at school, you can get discounted Internet service ($9.95 per month + tax) from Comcast, along with free wifi, and a discounted netbook for $149.99 through a program called “Internet Essentials“.
In order for a household to be eligible for Internet Essentials, it must meet each of the four following criteria:
- Live in an area where Xfinity Internet service is available.
- Qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, and others, or are enrolled or enrolling in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with Xfinity
- Have not had Xfinity Internet within the last 90 days (unless enrolled in ACP with Xfinity)
- Have no outstanding debt to Xfinity that is less than one year old (unless enrolled in ACP with Xfinity)
So, if you meet the above criteria, $9.95 per month Internet is yours for the taking (and with the FCC’s new federal monthly internet subsidy, it could be free, for a limited time). If you weren’t aware of the free or reduced lunch program, the reduced (and hence, the discounted internet service) are highlighted via these guidelines.
For all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service is now 50 Mbps downstream (up from 25 Mbps previously) and 10 Mbps upstream. Not blazing fast.
Their slowest internet speeds at a price that likely is still above their cost to give you service while they relentlessly try to sell low income households (with kids) overpriced cable and digital voice service? Not to mention, the program was required by the FCC as part of their NBC Universal agreement. Mashable explains,
While this project seems like a goodwill initiative on part of the giant communications provider, it is actually a by-product of the Comcast-NBC merger, in which the company agreed to “increase broadband deployment in low income households” as one of a number of conditions to the acquisition.
If you’re elderly, single, or childless and low income – sorry.
You didn’t think Comcast would actually give something away for the greater good, did you?
If you meet the criteria, minus the 90-day eligibility requirement, do yourself a favor and cancel your Comcast internet service today so that you can get discounted service 90 days from now.
Is the income guideline based on gross income or AGI?
I’m in that place where I make too much money to qualify for any social programs like this and not enough to where I could be considered “comfortable”. Besides, my child is not yet old enough to be in school.
“Their slowest internet speeds at a price that likely is still above their cost to give you service.”
GE, I agree with your point of view in this article but disagree with this comment above. Internet seems overpriced to everyone but since I work in the industry, I can tell you building and maintaining an infrastructure to deliver internet to individual customers is expensive in itself.
Think of all the physical lines that have to go to each building and through each street to provide you with internet. These lines are normally either copper (expensive) or fiber optics (super expensive). Transporting information takes using costly routers and switches which can cost up to and excess of $50,000 each.
If these lines break from weather, wear, construction cutting into it, they have to be repaired by experienced professionals.
I can tell you, I work for a small-mid sized company. We spend over 1 million a month building and maintaining these lines. The profit margin is not as great as people think.
Ok, sorry. I’ll get off the soap box now. It’s a bit annoying when people complain about internet being expensive when they don’t take into account the simple logistics of it all.
While I agree that the cost to build and maintain the infrastructure of an ISP is lofty, the incremental cost of adding on low income customers that would not otherwise be able to afford internet is extremely marginal. Whether there are 2,000,000 or 2,000,001 customers, the cost of the infrastructure would be the same. It’s a matter of accounting, I suppose.
Is this why the owners of these internet companies billionares and their ceo’s millionaires?
You cannot expect us to believe there isn’t a huge, greedy profit no matter what the package from Comcast is! It’s obvious that Comcast’s focus is the wealthy and frankly doesn’t give a donkey’s arse about anyone else. They play games with their promotions, the customer service is the worst worldwide and the name Xfinity/Comcast has become a dirty word to a lot of subscribers who had cut the cord. One such game is I decided to cut the cord and to punish me, basic cable would go from $39 promo for new subscribers to $80 for those of us who had been loyal subscribers for over 25 years. That is comcast to a tee! So, I advise people to dump Comcast and try AT&T, Direct TV, whatever to get away from Comcast long enough that Comcast will send an offer to you pretending they want you back, so here’s a good promo. Of course you will have to deal with promo tricks from the others too, but stick with them through those promos and show Comcast you have other options! They’re all crooks, but Comcast really is the worst.
It sounds like a fair program, more amazingly from comcast. How much good will come from this program. It seems doubtful we are going to see a up tick in internet commerce. I guess the goal is to help kids with homework? Farmville for all?
You will get the lowest speed and the oldest modem (naturally no wifi) that even Comcast techs have not seen in ages. When you call for technical support you will be offered to pay $80, no support otherwise. You will also have to self- install unless you are running into legit “no signal” issues and they send a tech pretty fast. They will not do anything with your computer, just leave the Ethernet cable out for you to connect to your PC. So you basically get what you pay for. I am wondering what is the government’s involvement.
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I have this internet essentials service and I have not had any problems with slow speeds at all knock on wood. However I may have to cancel my TV service as they make my bill $200.
This is a good plan if you are a light internet user. I actually came across this plan while browsing for Comcast Internet Plans at cabletvinternet. s9 .com. They provided exhaustive information about all the plans, but this one intrigued me the most. I have since been reading up on it. I will most probably get this plan soon. Thanks for the article.
I have Essentials, it was turned off, now it back on but When I used my loge in and password that I used before…it does not work.
I have my network key and wfs pin.
Please help…I need my internet and WiFi
Thank you all for your imput. Does anyone know if they cap you at a certain amount of internet and then chsrge you for any internet overages?
Comcast allows 1024 Gigs a month with the $9.95 Internet essentials net. It’s an awesome plan and affords me to be able to stream entertainment, as I can not afford cable tv. Or refuse to pay their outrageous prices, I should say. And the modem that Comcast gave me has the WiFi built in. It has its bad moments, but for the most part, I’m extremely pleased with the service received; I mean, shoot, it’s internet for $9.95/mo, like I’d ever complain! I’m appreciative for it; and I certainly don’t feel ‘entitled’ or ‘owed’, like a lot of ppl nowadays, just very grateful! Finally, Comcast got something right!
I agree. 100% greatful. Not entitled but so appreciative. Thank you again, Comcast.
I haven’t been able to find info about the Internet Essentials. Is there something on their website I missed? Thanks.
https://internetessentials.com is a separate website. I recently connected up a disabled friend, Comcast gives all the equipment, and professional installation free, the WiFi was excellent, and $9.95 is the entire price, no add ons!
If you just had Comcast and wanted to get internet essentials is it possible even though you have a old bill with Comcast or a recent old bill could you still get this. Or it’s not possible
If you are already a customer Xfinity/Comcast REFUSES to allow you to apply. I filed a FCC complaint. Corporate will do nothing. I am making a formal request for the policy to be changed. Anyone who needs help should be able to apply.
Internet essential is a phony ad. They don’t have it. We tried to apply for it. We qualified for it. Then they said your address did not have PRE-EXIsting connection. Then they CANNOT offer this service. The matter of the truth is, the connection was there. So we ended up paying their regular rate of $44.99 and get it activated. So Comcast internet essential is cheating and phony.