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More homes qualify for Comcast’s low-income internet service

FILE - In this July 30, 2008 file photo illustration, a silhouetted coaxial cable is photographed with the Comcast Corp. logo in the background in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)
FILE - In this July 30, 2008 file photo illustration, a silhouetted coaxial cable is photographed with the Comcast Corp. logo in the background in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file) AP

Low-income families who receive federal housing assistance or live in public housing are now eligible to receive low-cost internet service from Comcast.

Since 2011, families of children who are eligible to receive a free school lunch have been able to buy discounted internet service from Comcast. The company expanded eligibility to include students on reduced-price lunch, and then to students in private, charter and online schools. Low-income seniors and low-income community college students are also eligible.

Expanding the program means another 9,000 Pierce County households will be eligible for the Internet Essentials program, according to a company press release. Statewide around 75,000 more homes will qualify.

The program allows households to buy internet service for $9.95 per month, which includes a Wi-Fi router and 10 Mbps connection — fast enough to browse the internet and watch streaming video at the same time. Eligible households can also buy a computer for $150.

Last year, Comcast Washington spokesman Walter Neary said 1,861 Tacoma School District families had been connected to the internet through the company’s program.

Comcast’s expansion of Internet Essentials is a partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nationwide, an estimated 2 million more homes will be eligible for low-cost service.

For more information, call Comcast at 855-846-8376, or visit internetessentials.com.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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