As the new school year starts, Comcast leaders are reminding local families about the Internet Essentials Program, which aims to make the Internet more accessible for low-income households.
“By providing continued education at home for low-income families through Internet Essentials, Comcast Chattanooga has proven to be a significant community partner in these challenging economic times,” Badiema Waldrep, Hamilton County PTA Council president, said in a prepared statement.
The plan offers Internet service for a monthly fee of $9.95 plus tax to families that have at least one child in the National School Free Lunch Program.
Participants can also buy a low-cost computer and get access to free digital literacy training and Constant Guard Protection Suite security software.
Comcast leaders also recently launched an enhanced learning center on the Internet Essentials website.
The website includes features such as a social media section, a guided tour for simple navigation and digital literacy education videos.
“As Comcast continues to add services and features to the Internet Essentials Program, we hope to make headway in bridging the digital divide in the Chattanooga area,” Jim Weigert, vice president and general manager of Comcast Chattanooga, said in a prepared statement.
Eligible users must also live where Comcast offers Internet service and must not have subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days. To participate, customers also can't have overdue Comcast bills or unreturned equipment.
Comcast leaders said they will sign up eligible families with Internet Essentials through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
As long as requirements are met, any household that qualifies can remain in the program until the eligible student graduates from high school, officials said.