Advertisement

Comcast announces discounted high-speed Internet for Snohomish County low-income residents

Comcast announced on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, it is expanding eligibility for Internet Essentials to include all qualified low-income households in Washington State. The expansion makes more discounted internet services immediately available to the people of Mill Creek and Snohomish County.

From a Comcast news release.

Comcast announced on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, it is expanding eligibility for Internet Essentials – the nation’s largest, most comprehensive and most successful broadband adoption program – to include all qualified low-income households in Washington State.

The expansion makes more discounted internet services immediately available to the people of Mill Creek and Snohomish County.

To date, 34,000 people throughout Snohomish County have benefited for the program, including 200 households in Mill Creek.

This latest expansion opens up eligibility to many more people across the region.

“We connect more people to high-speed broadband than any other provider in Washington,” said Terry Davis, Senior Director of Government Affairs & Internet Essentials Leader, Comcast Washington.

He went on to say, “With this new expanded eligibility of Internet Essentials, we can now provide many more individuals and families in our service area with access to high-speed internet and other technology resources, regardless of their income.”

The expansion is the most significant change in the program’s history, and the company estimates that more than three million additional low-income households are now eligible to apply nationwide.

In Washington state, Comcast approximates the expansion increases the availability of Internet Essential to 208,000 totals households and 832,000 residents across the state altogether.

Since August 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than eight million low-income individuals, from two million households, to the Internet at home, most for the first time in their lives. This includes connecting more than 340,000 people and 85,000 households to fixed, high-speed internet in their home in Washington state. 

Wednesday’s announcement follows 11 prior eligibility expansions, including last year’s extension of the program to low-income military Veterans.

“We connect more people to high-speed broadband than any other provider in Washington,” said Terry Davis, Senior Director of Government Affairs & Internet Essentials Leader, Comcast Washington.

He went on to say, “With this new expanded eligibility of Internet Essentials, we can now provide many more individuals and families in our service area with access to high-speed internet and other technology resources, regardless of their income.”

To be eligible to apply to the program, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more of a dozen different federal assistance programs. These include:

  • Medicaid,
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

A full list of these programs can be found at www.internetessentials.com. 

The Company already accepts applications from households that have a student eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, live in public housing or receive HUD Housing Assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, or participate in the Veterans Pension Program, as well as low-income seniors and community college students in select pilot markets. 

According to U.S. Census data, households living in cities with the highest poverty rates, are up to 10 times more likely than those in higher earning communities not to have fixed broadband at home. For example, in Palo Alto, California, or Bethesda, Maryland – where poverty rates are very low – only about six percent of households do not have a broadband Internet subscription – 94 percent are connected. But in Trenton, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan – where poverty rates are way above the national average – up to 60 percent of households do not have fixed broadband at home – that is, less than half are connected. That gap of more than 50 points defines the digital divide in this country. 

The most significant barrier to broadband adoption in low-income communities remains a basket of digital literacy deficits, lack of digital awareness, and fear of the Internet. 

As a result, since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $650 million to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 9.5 million low-income Americans. 

In addition, the company has either sold or donated more than 100,000 discounted and heavily subsidized computers to families and veterans that need one.

Comcast announced on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, it is expanding eligibility for Internet Essentials to include all qualified low-income households in Washington State. The expansion makes more discounted internet services immediately available to the people of Mill Creek and Snohomish County.

Comcast Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David L. Cohen and friends at 2019 Internet Essentials kick-off. Photo courtesy of Comcast.

Tags: 

Comments

The article fails to mention

The article fails to mention that you cannot be or have been a Comcast customer for the last 90 days.  This program is not advertised very well to those who could benefit from it. 

I fall under multiple of the qualification requirements, however, when I finally received my housing assistance I needed internet service and my options were limited to basically just (the high cost) Comcast, so I was stuck signing up for service with them.  That was less than a year ago. 

I just now learned of this discount program.  When I inquired with Comcast about info for it they said it was the "government agencies" responsibility to advertise it/get the info out. 

I receive multiple services that qualify and have never received info on the program. 

The discount would be a huge financial help, but because I already have service (at a financial struggle) I cannot get it.  That hardly seems fair and seems kind of discriminatory. 

What about people whose financial circumstances suddenly change?  Or, like me, finally receive housing assistance after being on a waitlist for years (though I meet some of the other qualifications)?  

It really sucks given the poor advertisement of the program.

Our featured sponsor

Google ad