One of my biggest callings in life is to take it to “the man”, and there is no bigger or annoying man out there than Comcast.
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:
- Is located where Comcast offers Internet service
- Has at least one child receiving free or reduced price school lunches through the National School Lunch Program (Comcast asks for documentation on this) or adults in public housing and HUD assisted homes.
- Must live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available but not have subscribed to it within the last 90 days.
- Must not have outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than a year old. Individuals with outstanding debt more than one year old may still be eligible.
So, if you meet the above criteria, $9.95 per month Internet is yours for the taking. If you weren’t aware of the free or reduced lunch program, the reduced (and hence, the discounted internet service) are highlighted via this income eligibility chart:
A family of 3 is eligible at an income below $37,296 and a family of four at an income below $44,955.
Just don’t expect Comcast to crank up the speeds for you though – download speeds are capped at 10MBps.
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.