Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comcast initiative: "Lifeline" Internet access, $10/month for low income residents with schoolchildren

Regarding the so called "digital divide," where lower income people have limited access to fee-based services such as Internet service, Comcast, the nation's largest cable television company (with interests both in providing cable services to customers as well as in programming, including NBC), is providing a $10/month Internet service to households with children qualifying for free lunch at their local school. See "Comcast to offer $10 Internet access" from the Los Angeles Times Technology blog. This is one of the conditions imposed on Comcast as a result of their merger with NBC/Universal.

-- Section from the case study on the DC Municipal Broadband Network (which is also made available to community organizations), New America Foundation

From the article:

The media and communications giant's Internet Essentials plan provides Internet access at speeds of 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second) and also offers other qualifying customers a netbook computer for $149.99 when signing up for the service.

To qualify, families must live in an area covered by Comcast and have at least one child who receives free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

The $10 Internet plan comes after the Federal Communications Commission ordered Comcast to offer affordable Internet access for low-income families following its purchase of NBC Universal in January. ...

Along with the $9.95 low monthly rate and the $149.99 netbook, the plan also offers qualifying families access to free Internet training and promises "No price increases, no activation fees and no equipment rental fees," according to a Comcast Web page.

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