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According to Comcast, it is upgrading its Internet Essentials plan to make sure that senior citizens get connections. The Pay-TV and internet giant has started the program in 2011 so that discounted internet services and computers can be offered to low income families. Because of the step undertaken by Comcast, more than half a million American homes or more than 2 million Americans can now go online.
The Internet Essentials program of Comcast is presently available to families that have one child who is eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program that includes public, parochial, private and homeschool students. Internet service is available for these families at $9.95 a month with the potential to purchase an internet-ready computer for less than $150.
In a blog post on Comcast’s website, senior EVP and chief diversity officer David L. Cohen announced upgrades that include increased download speeds from 5 Megabits per second to 10 Mbps at no additional cost with a free Wi-Fi router. With the upgrade, it will easier for families to connect to the internet simultaneously.
Comcast is also launching a pilot program that will help low-income seniors understand and the use the web. According to Pew Research Center, less than half or 47% of those aged 65 and above have broadband in their homes.
Cohen has made the announcement in West Palm Beach Florida where the first pilot program will start with the Urban League of Palm Beach. In the coming weeks, more pilot programs will be announced by Cohen.
Internet Essentials program grew from Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal. The net and cable provider agreed to provide increased broadband deployment to the low-income group for 3 years. The vision of the Comcast is to invest in communities because when they thrive, everyone benefits.