Coastal residents looking for Internet access can get a reduced price thanks to a new FCC initiative through Comcast. The program will help to close a gap between low-income customers seeking to use the Internet.
The relationship between low-income users and Internet access is well-documented. A 2021 report by the United States Department of Health and Human Services shows that more than one in six Americans in poverty had no Internet access in 2019. With more than 20.6 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be safe to assume that this number has increased significantly. This loss highlighted yet another disparity as schools worked rapidly to shift to a more virtual model of instruction. More than 16 million students found themselves without internet access at the beginning of the pandemic. Comcast is working with the FCC to help decrease this number across the country and they’re looking to bring the saving to coastal residents.
WHAT DOES THE PROGRAM OFFER?
Those interested in applying can receive a variety of discounts on their Internet costs, including:
- Up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and associated equipment rentals.
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50).
There are a few rules that apply to the program. The discounts are only available to one household. Customers must enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to be considered for the role. Finally, the program will end when the program runs out of money, or six months after the U.S. Health and Human Services Department declares an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those interested in the program can find out more information on benefits by clicking here.