When Comcast was trying to get their acquisition of NBC Universal approved by government regulators, they decided to come up with a program deemed “Internet Essentials” which required that Comcast offer $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to low income homes.
Except, Comcast had no plans of ever putting out an actual program that helped low income families. When the program was first released, potential applicants had to jump through a number of hoops which meant that very few low income families would actually qualify for the program.
Program applicants have to qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), can’t owe Comcast money or equipment, can’t currently have any Comcast broadband service, and can’t have had service in the last ninety days. – DSLReports, 09/24/12
After Philadelphia residents publicly protested, Comcast slightly relaxed the rules governing the program.
Now, Comcast is trying to yet again act as if they care about the poor. In order to get as much good PR as possible, they are now changing the eligibility of their $10-a-month broadband Internet access program.
As part of the changes:
- Households with past balances will no longer be banned from the program if their balances are not more than a year old.
- Households with an unknown amount of debt will be able to pay off their debt through installment payments.
- Eligible people/families that sign up for the program through Sept. 20 will get up to six months of Internet access for free.
Basically, most of the low-income families will continue not being able to qualify for the program that Comcast loves talking about to the press.
Funny that Comcast is doing this now….say, isn’t Comcast trying to get a certain deal through with government regulators?