This announcement should be of interest to all digital training partners and caregivers working with low-income individuals and families.
After COVID-19 impacted our world back in March, the FCC asked broadband and telephone service providers to sign on to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Comcast responded by announcing a special “first two months free” promo for their reduced-cost internet service program available to low-income individuals who are first-time Comcast subscribers. Although the initial Internet Essentials promo offer was due to expire on June 30, Comcast has recently announced that the program has been extended through the end of 2020. Internet Essentials provides two months of free internet access with a subsequent ongoing cost of $9.95 per month for qualifying individuals.
In addition to internet access, Internet Essentials customers have the option to purchase a low-cost internet-ready computer. There is a newly added option to video chat in American Sign Language (ASL) with a customer service representative. There are two dedicated phone numbers (1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish).
As shared in a previous CTN blog post published on June 2, 2020, our experience has shown that getting new learners established with home internet service can be challenging and time-consuming. The enrollment process can be frustrating and intimidating for older learners to accomplish on their own. Although Comcast offers the option of applying online, our digital learners who have no internet access capability find that the online application option is not useful. This is where specific assistance from the various digital training entities is so important.
Reliable, affordable access too often becomes yet another barrier for low-income or older adults. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program is one more valued resource accessible to CTN and other nonprofit partners’ clients as we help ease their entry into the digital world. We appreciate Comcast’s commitment to reaching the underserved in our community.