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September 21, 2011

Comcast launches $10 broadband programme for low-income families

Nationwide programme aims to close the digital divide by providing broadband access and computers at low prices

By CBR Staff Writer

Information and communications technology company Comcast will provide access to $10 broadband and a $150 computer to low-income families with school-going children in the US.

As a part of its Internet Essentials programme, the company hopes the move will help low-income familes to compete with the rest of the society.

Comcast executive David L Cohen said, "Internet Essentials helps level the playing field for low-income families by connecting students online with their teachers and their schools’ educational resources."

Comcast officially launched the nationwide program at Ballou High School in the District of Columbia. It said that so far, nearly 20,000 schools have been selected for the Internet Essentials programme.

The nationwide programme will provide families with children who are eligible to receive free lunches under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) with low-cost Internet service, affordable computers and digital literacy training.

"The goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer," said Comcast.

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The programme addresses what research has identified as three primary barriers to broadband adoption: a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful; the cost of a home computer; and the cost of Internet service.

Cohen said the programme will also enable parents to receive digital literacy training so they can do things like apply for jobs online or use the Internet to learn more about healthcare and government services available where they live.

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