Cheap Internet for Students on Free Lunch

Yesterday, my boss, Rita, told me about a new program through Comcast. It sounds remarkable — Comcast is offering internet service, at just $9.95 a month, to any household with a child in the free lunch program. Of course, the household must be in an area where Comcast has service. (Call 1-866-928-9135 to find out if Comcast services your area.)

Comcast also promises NOT to increase the monthly fee and NOT to charge for any equipment rental — just the monthly rate of $9.95 +tax. The program, called “Internet Essentials,” also offers participants a low-cost $150 computer and FREE internet training. For more information, check out You can also get brochures and posters advertising the program, as well as teacher-specific information, by registering at

One of the largest economic divides in the 21st century is access to the internet, and this program could really put a dent in that problem.

Of course, most people immediately ask, “Why is Comcast doing this?” There are a lot of reasons this program will benefit Comcast as a business — first off, it’s great marketing that paints Comcast in a very positive light. And a marketing strategy like this could help get Comcast into new areas. Also, much like Apple’s push into schools, Comcast could be creating lifelong brand loyalists.

No matter the reasons, I’m extremely excited that many of our students will now finally be able to get access at home. I’m rarely one to advertise corporations, but we’re sending brochures about the program home with all of our high school students today.

Katy Scott

I spent 5 years teaching in low-income districts in Phoenix, where most of my students were English-language learners. There, I taught 3rd- and 4th-grade self-contained classes, as well as 7th-grade resource. I spent a year teaching 5th- and 6th-grade science in an inner-city KIPP school in New Orleans. I did double-duty as a technology integration specialist for the last four years of my teaching career. I am now the Digital Learning Manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, where I work to help PreK-12 teachers and students utilize technology to better understand science. I'm a maker, a snorkeler, and a certified Google Education Trainer.

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2 Responses

  1. Tammy Loomis says:

    I have been trying to get this service for over a year now and keep hitting the same dead end. Comcast says I have a bill that I did not pay, When I call to take care of it, like they said for me to do, Comcast says they have no record of that bill. I come back to apply for the internet service and they say I need to pay a past bill. I have had comcast and paid my bills since the date this site is saying. What do I need to do?

    • Jill says:

      They have changed their policy stating that if your bill is more than a year old, you can still qualify for the service.

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