As the new school year begins, Comcast is on a mission to bridge the digital divide. The cable, Internet and phone provider has launched the Internet Essentials program, which offers residential Internet service to low-income families for $9.95 per month, plus tax.
"We're trying to reach the folks that don't have Internet service today because of financial reasons. Also possibly, they don't find the Internet relevant to them because they don't do banking online or apply for things online. And third, maybe they don't have a computer," said Bill Ferry, the vice president of government and external affairs at Comcast.
The Internet Essentials program does not charge installation or equipment rental fees or require a credit check. Also, the program's monthly price of $9.95 per month, plus tax, will not increase.
"This is not a promotional rate. If a child signs up in kindergarten or first grade, as long as they're a student and still qualify and accept free school lunches, they can stay on this program throughout high school," Ferry said.
After joining the program, customers can purchase a computer for $149.99, plus tax. Comcast will provide free Internet training, which is available online, in print and in person.
To qualify for the Internet Essentials program, customers must meet the following criteria:
- Have at least one child who receives a free lunch through the National School Lunch program.
- Must live in areas where Comcast offers high-speed Internet service.
- Do not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
- Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days.
After a child is approved for the National School Lunch Program, a parent can contact Comcast at (855) 846-8376. They can also visit internetessentials.com.
When approved for the program, families will receive a self-install kit.
Participants do not have to be existing Comcast customers to qualify, Ferry said.
COUPON OF THE WEEK
The SmartSource insert in this week's Augusta Chronicle has a coupon to save $1.50 on any one package of Huggies diapers. It expires Sept. 10.
DEALS ON CARDS
Get $10 Sam's Club Gift Card: Through Aug. 31, shoppers can get a $10 Sam's Club gift card with a $40 purchase of qualifying items at Sam's Club.
Participating items include Olay Ultra Moisture body wash, Head & Shoulders Hair Endurance 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, Always Infinity pads, Secret Clinical Strength deodorant and Crest Whitening plus Scope toothpaste.
The offer is valid only for members of Sam's Club.
Get $10 Gas Card at CVS: This week, CVS shoppers can get a $10 gas card when they spend $30 on eligible items.
These include Kleenex, Nestle Pure Life purified water, Huggies jumbo packs and Scott paper towels or bathroom tissue. The offer ends Saturday.
Take them home
Used Book Sale: The Friends of the Augusta Library will have a used book sale Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the atrium of the downtown library at 823 Telfair St.
Shoppers will be able to find gently read books from every number in the Dewey decimal system, according to a release. Romance novels are priced at four for $1.
Friends of the Library, whose mission is to promote education and literacy, will donate all proceeds to public libraries in the Augusta area.
Office Depot: Through Saturday, Office Depot shoppers can get paper pocket folders, Office Depot-brand plastic rulers and Office Depot-brand multipurpose paper for 1 cent each. Some limits apply.
Staples: At Staples, customers can get college- or wide-ruled filler paper (120 sheets) for 1 cent. This sale lasts through Wednesday.