Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides broadband access to low-income Americans, has always been a nice idea. The reality, unfortunately, has been slow to catch up to the promise. Still, expanding affordable access to the most underserved is a laudable goal, so the big Internet Essentials expansion Comcast is announcing is good news.
AT&T is today making good on a promise it had to make to the FCC last year, announcing their new program to connect more poor Americans to the internet and bridge that infamous digital divide.
Comcast, whose NBC network cancelled a beloved sitcom about a community college in Colorado, is apparently trying to atone for that sin by expanding its more affordable Internet Essentials program to cover some community college students in that state (and also in Illinois). [More]
Comcast’s low-cost Internet Essentials program, cooked up during its acquisition of NBC as a way for the company to look good when trying to appease lawmakers and regulators, has been criticized for having eligibility standards that effectively lock out the elderly and childless. The company even recently fought back against California’s attempt to expand eligibility for the program. But today the company announced that it’s expanding Essentials coverage to include older low-income users, but only in the San Francisco area. [More]
Philadelphia is Comcast’s hometown. Its current skyscraper looms like a giant thumb drive over the city’s skyline and its second tower will only establish Comcast as the dominating corporate presence in Philly. And yet, when Comcast announced its first (and second, and third) markets for a new super-high-speed fiber network, it looked elsewhere. And in spite of the fact that Philadelphia is one of the poorest urban markets in the country, Comcast chose to test an expansion of its low-cost Internet Essentials program more than 1,000 miles away in Florida. With Comcast’s Philly franchise up for renewal, the city is finally asking why its supposed hometown hero is helping everyone else first. [More]
Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which offers affordable broadband access to some low-income households, has long been considered window dressing for regulators and lawmakers whenever the company has to show that it does something not-horrible for the community. Today, Comcast announced a pair of significant improvements to Essentials, while launching a pilot program that could result in expanded eligibility. [More]
Sometimes you have to pat yourself on the back after a job well done. But if you’re a company for whom accolades may be in short supply, it helps to sponsor (and have one of your executives be in charge of) a professional organization that is willing to give you an attaboy when you need one. [More]
Comcast Happy To Sing Comcast’s Praises To Regulators For Making Tiny Improvements To Broadband Access Program For Low-Income Families
Comcast yesterday announced a few changes to its Internet Essentials program. The program is, in theory, great. It aims to provide broadband internet access to low-income households, allowing families to stay connected to critical jobs, education, government and social services, and social media just like everyone else. And while Comcast is indeed taking baby steps to let more families access Internet Essentials, they are mainly taking great strides to shout aloud about every incremental, insufficient change in the hopes that regulators will nod along.
Two years ago, Comcast began rolling out its Internet Essentials program, which offers Internet access to certain low-income families for only $9.95/month. And as the company brought Essentials to each new region, the company shook a lot of politicians’ hands and played up how it was helping to close the digital divide between those who could afford Internet access and those who could not. But some argue that the whole program is just window-dressing to make Comcast look less evil. [More]
As a condition of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC, the folks at Kabletown have created Internet Essentials, which offers internet access to low-income families for $9.95/month so long as they meet certain criteria.