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Comcast offers low-income families $9.95 a month Internet

Comcast

Some low-income families struggling to pay $30 for Comcast's cable Internet service may qualify for a $9.95-a-month plan from the company, which offers service in 39 states.

Comcast's "Internet Essentials" is geared to those who have at least one child that receives free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. Other criteria include being located where Comcast offers Internet service, not having subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days, and not having an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast.)

Among the conditions of the FCC's approval earlier this year of Comcast buying a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal, was that Comcast continue to offer an affordable, standalone broadband option for customers who want Internet access but not cable TV service. Philadelphia-based Comcast has about 23 million cable TV subscribers and nearly 17 million Internet subscribers.

Comcast says it will deliver download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps for those in the Internet Essentials program.

Other features will include not having to pay any activation or equipment rental fees, "never" having any price increases as long as you qualify for the program, and being able to buy a computer at "initial enrollment" for $150 plus tax.

To learn more about Internet Essentials, visit Comcast's site, or call 1-855-846-8376 to request an application.

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