Comcast is expanding its Internet Essentials program, which offers high-speed Internet for $10 a month, to reach more low-income families while increasing download speeds to 5 Mbps from 3 Mbps. A comparable plan from the cable company costs $50 a month.
About 2.6 million households are eligible for Internet Essenetials. As part of the expansion, students at 25,000 schools with large low-income populations automatically qualify, as do households with children who receive subsidized or free lunch at school. When Comcast took over NBCUniversal in 2011, the nation’s largest cable company agreed to offer affordable high-speed Internet for families with children. The company says 220,000 households, or an estimated 900,000 people, have opted into this program.