GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Comcast has announced it is expanding eligibility for “Internet Essentials,” a program that provides Internet access to the households of disadvantaged students, according to The Grand Rapids Press. The program had been available only to households with children who qualified for “free” school lunches, but will now be an option for families with children who receive reduced-price lunches as well.
According to The Press, Comcast launched the program as a way to ensure that economically disadvantaged students had access to digital tools that would help them perform better academically. Families enrolled in the program pay just $9.95 for Internet access and have the option to buy a computer for $149.99, The Press reported.
While state and local data is currently unavailable, The Press reports that more than 41,000 households across the country have been enrolled in Internet Essentials so far. There are approximately 3.5 million households nationally that could qualify for the program.
The Grand Rapids Press, “Comcast expands eligibility rules to get $9.99 Internet to students receiving reduced price lunch,” Feb. 2, 2012
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Digital Learning Growth in Michigan,” Nov. 14, 2011