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.