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Comcast expands Internet Essentials to up to 3 million low-income households

Comcast Corp. is expanding the eligibility criteria for Internet Essentials, its high-speed internet adoption program for low- income families, to include all qualified low-income households in its service area.

Up to 3 million low-income households nationally will now have access to low-cost internet service, Comcast said, adding that the latest expansion doubles the total number of previously eligible households to a total of nearly 7 million households.

According to an Aug. 6 news release, Comcast said more than 1 million low-income California households will be eligible for the program. Since its launch in 2011, Internet Essentials has connected over 1 million Californians from 260,000 households to the internet, Comcast added.

To show eligibility for the program, applicants need to prove that they participate in one of over a dozen different government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Supplemental Security Income.

Qualified Internet Essentials households can buy an internet-ready computer for less than $150 and access high-speed internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax. These users can also access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person.