Comcast launches low-cost Internet effort

Comcast announced its new Internet Essentials program in southeast Fresno on Saturday, showcasing how low-income families can surf the web for as little as $9.95 a month.

Several key leaders were there to announce their blessing and collaboration in the program, including Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, Fresno City Councilman Sal Quintero, Fresno Unified School District Superintendent Michael Hanson and Comcast's Regional Senior Vice President for California Curt Henninger.

"Having access to the Internet is a necessity," said Perea said in a statement. "Kids who don't have access to the Internet are at a great disadvantage when it comes to doing school work, applying to college and even looking for a job."

Families with children eligible for federal free lunch benefits at school qualify for the program if they are in a Comcast service area. Customers will not be subject to price increases or other fees and may receive a voucher to buy a computer for $149.99 plus tax.

Internet Essentials also includes access to a free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. Comcast will sign up eligible families in the the program for at least three years.

Those interested may sign up at www.internetessentials.com in English and in Spanish www.internetbasico.com. Families may also enroll by calling 1-855-846-8376 or in Spanish at 1-855-765-6995.