If you’ve struggled with cable Internet bills in the past, a newly improved assistance program from Comcast may help. Today, the cable giant announced that it is offering debt forgiveness and up to six months of complementary service to lower income families as part of its Internet Essentials program.
Comcast created the Internet Essentials program in 2011 as a condition of obtaining government approval for its mega-merger with NBCUniversal, but it has recently come under fire from public advocacy groups. The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) filed a complaint with the FCC that signing up for Internet Essentials is a “long and cumbersome” process that can often take 3 months or more, deterring families from signing up. In addition, some applicants were improperly subjected to credit checks, and those with an outstanding bill to the cable company were automatically rejected.
Under the new terms of the Internet Essentials program, any family with at least one student enrolled in the National School Lunch Program will receive six free months of 5Mbps Internet service upon signup and pay just $9.99 per month plus tax after that. Outstanding balances owed to Comcast will be forgiven for the purposes of joining the program so long as the debt is at least one year old.
To learn more about the Internet Essentials program or to apply, you can visit Internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376.