Comcast has kicked off its Internet Essentials program, a $9.95 entry-level broadband option for any family with at least one child taking advantage of the National School Lunch Program. Offering up to 1.5 Mbps downloads and up to 384 Kbps uploads, the discount connection also offers a budget $150 Windows 7 Starter netbook and inclusive internet and PC training.
The new program is part of Comcast's regulatory obligation after having acquired NBC Universal last year. Although individual circumstances will affect eligibility, a rough estimate is that a family of four making $29,055 per year would qualify for the scheme, while a family of three making less than $25,000 would also qualify.
Comcast promises no price increases, rental fees or activation fees, and sign-ups will be accepted as long as they have no outstanding bills with the company and haven't been a customer in the past 90 days. Obviously you'll also need to live in an area with Comcast service, too. Service will begin in the 2011-12 school year.