Diversity & Inclusion
Internet / Internet Essentials

Comcast’s low-cost internet program has expanded to 3M more households

The company estimates 8 million people have been connected to the internet through the Internet Essentials program since it started in 2011.

Sorftware development training at Catalyte. (Photo courtesy of Catalyte)
Full disclosure: Comcast is a major sponsor of Philly Tech Week. That relationship is unrelated to this article.

Comcast announced Tuesday that it has expanded its Internet Essentials program, a low-cost internet offering for economically disadvantaged residents, to include all qualified low-income households in its service area.

The Philly-based comms giant estimates that nearly 3 million more households will now be able to take advantage of the program, in addition to an existing 2 million that have joined since the program’s start.

The program launched in Philadelphia in 2011, following FCC requirements made in response to Comcast’s purchase of a majority stake in NBC Universal. The program allows folks to purchase a computer for less than $150 and get internet access for $9.95 a month plus tax.

To be eligible, applicants need to show they are participating in one of more than a dozen government assistance programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Supplemental Security Income.

Comcast said since the program launched, 8 million low-income individuals have been connected to the internet, many for the first time in their lives.

“This expansion is the culmination of an audacious goal we set eight years ago, which was to meaningfully and significantly close the digital divide for low-income Americans,” said David L. Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer of Comcast NBCUniversal.

The company estimates that with the expansion, more than 3 million additional low-income households, including households with people with disabilities, are now eligible to apply. In years prior, expansions to the program included offering the service to low-income seniors and veterans.

So far in 2019, the program has connected around 72,000 households in Philadelphia, and about 170,000 households statewide, a Comcast spokesperson said.

The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials and nonprofit community partners.

“The Internet is arguably the most important technological innovation in history, and it is unacceptable that we live in a country where millions of families and individuals are missing out on this life-changing resource,” Cohen said.

Companies: Comcast

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Philly startup Burro aims to revolutionize farming with robots

How to encourage more healthcare entrepreneurship (and why that matters)

9 inclusivity recommendations for tech workplaces from Philadelphia youth

Find out what type of heat wave you’re really in for with NOAA’s HeatRisk dashboard

Technically Media