Starting today, Monday, March 16, Comcast will be expanding its internet program for low-income households and families in King and Pierce counties.

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a large demand for internet services as families are homebound, practicing proper social distancing techniques. This outbreak has been particularly hard on low-income families in Washington, who may not have the consistent internet access required to transition from in-person to remote work.

In response to these issues, Comcast announced some important changes to their Internet Essentials program, the largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income Americans.

The Internet Essentials program has developed a multi-pronged approach to address the three major barriers to broadband adoption: A lack of digital literacy skills, a lack of awareness of the relevance of the internet to daily needs, and a lack of computer access due to the cost of materials. As a result, the program includes free digital literacy training and the option to purchase an internet-ready computer for less than $150; and low-cost high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month.

Effective today, the Internet Essentials program will see two major enhancements: Free service for 60 days for eligible families in Comcast’s service area, and greater internet speeds for both new and existing customers. Existing customers don’t need to do anything to reap the benefits of faster speeds and for new customers, Comcast will send a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem with a Wi-Fi router. There will be no term contract or credit check or shipping fee.

To be eligible for the program, new applicants simply need to show that they are participating in one or more government assistance programs, such as Medicaid Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A full list of these programs can be found here.

To sign up, applicants can visit internetessentials.com or by calling 855-846-8376 for English and 855-765-6995 for Spanish.


Thumbnail photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash