Comcast's 'Internet Essentials' Amnesty Program Announced
by Karl Bode 04:14PM Wednesday Aug 06 2014 Tipped by newview
To get their acquisition of NBC approved by regulators, Comcast proposed a merger condition requiring they provide $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to all of the homes that qualify for the National School Lunch Program. This "Internet Essentials" program has seen significant criticism
(and even some protests in Philly
) over the years for being a bit of a public relations show pony, with people complaining Comcast intentionally made the program cumbersome and difficult to qualify for.
With the company trying to gain regulatory approval of their acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Comcast has recently been placing more attention on the Essentials program, something that in turn has resulted in renewed criticism of the pony for being relatively hollow. To address some of these concerns, Comcast has announced
that they are making additional changes.
For one, Comcast says they're now offering low-income users that have not yet applied for the service six months of completely free service. The company also states they're offering an "amnesty program" for low-income users that have a past-due balance with the company, something that previously disqualified potential applicants -- given most lower income families are frequently in debt on numerous fronts.
"By offering up to six months of complimentary Internet Essentials service, along with an amnesty program, we hope to convince even more families that there is no better school supply than having broadband Internet at home. With it, kids can do their homework and parents can be more connected to their children’s teachers and schools," states Comcast's top lobbyist David Cohen.
More importantly for Cohen and Comcast, they hope the changes will ease regulator worries that the Time Warner Cable acquisition won't be good for consumers.
said by 78036364:Nope, since CC would consider existing TWC customers as old customers and not new, therefore not allowing htem to take advantage of this deal.
To get their acquisition of NBC approved by regulators, Comcast proposed a merger condition requiring they provide $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband to all of the homes that qualify for the National School Lunch Program
In my state which Comcast which largely take completely over if the TWC merger is approved has a program where some counties is deem poor enough ALL kids qualify for free lunch regardless of actual income. So everyone in that county where they have service would then qualify for this?
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us
Re: Give it up already I have no problem paying for internet so long it be at a reasonable price.
The problem is the low tier of (5/1) doesn't even qualify as "broadband." You honestly think 5/1 internet even costs comcast that much? With $10 a month, i bet you comcast still profits. 5/1 for $10 a month for everyone I think is a perfectly fair deal. It's not free, and it's more than enough to fill Comcast's cost of the service and push them for a profit at that speed.
Hey, if Google can do it and still buck a profit, why can't comcast....
Re: Give it up already
said by rebus9:It was increased to 5Mbps last year:
What I want to know is, why is Comcast allowed to call a 1.5 Mbps service "broadband" when the FCC defines broadband as at least 4 Mbps?
»www.fiercecable.com/story/comcas ··· 13-08-13
Re: should just make it a plan option for anyone Better yet, set it up as a walled garden with free access for everyone to governmental and educational websties.
For access to social media, recreational, multimedia or other entertainment or infotainment sites just choose your data plan.
Re: Amnesty ?
said by FureverFurry:Yes it is spin, but as I understood it, say you were late paying your bill for one month 5 years ago when you had Comcast service. You then paid you bill and dropped all of Comcasts services. Now you want to sign up again as a new customer as you have not had service in 5 years. You meet all other conditions for the plan, but the fact that you had a late payment 5 years ago disqualifies you.
Amnesty ? Talk about PR spin ! Why should low income folks get a break on past due Comcast bills? There are plenty of hard-working folks and retirees who struggle and have to make the difficult choices, like cutting back and budgeting.
If they want to offer a "Internet Essentials" package, it should be open to all customers, not just people with kids that are on a school lunch program. The offer should not be limited new customer only. I have no issue with it being a low rate, ie 1.5/.512 Mb/s.
Re: Amnesty ?
said by switchman:That's how it is with most creditors, however. Late payments/charge-offs ... the gift that keeps on giving via your credit report. Falls off (usually) after 7 years. I really don't like the idea of this amnesty, but I'm not in charge.
Yes it is spin, but as I understood it, say you were late paying your bill for one month 5 years ago when you had Comcast service. You then paid you bill and dropped all of Comcasts services. Now you want to sign up again as a new customer as you have not had service in 5 years. You meet all other conditions for the plan, but the fact that you had a late payment 5 years ago disqualifies you.
Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
Shameless pandering... Are we really crossing that bridge, wherein kids will be taught, not only do they deserve a free lunch, but free broadband?
Is the administration so gullible that they would celebrate this offer?
(Note: I am not opposed to the merger on legal or technical grounds.)
Re: Shameless pandering... I guess in your world, $10 equals free?
Nah, we're not being taught kids deserve a free lunch and free broadband. We're being taught that anyone can be bought, and the price for our support, according to Comcast, is 1.5mbps worth of internet for $10. A win-win for Comcast, I think...
Santa Monica, CA
Re: Shameless pandering...
said by Denver Catbo :Did you miss the part about "amnesty", "complimentary", and "completely free service"?
I guess in your world, $10 equals free?
Re: Shameless pandering... We don't know if amnesty means 'you get your previous service for free'. It may be 'pay your past-due balance, and we'll wave the late fees', for all we know. It could even be as simple as 'we'll overlook your debt for the purposes of connecting the service, but we'll still try to collect said debt'. The above article, nor the referenced original post, do not address this.
'Completely free service' lasts at MOST 6 months and then it reverts to $10/month. And based on Comcast's bad habit of poor behavior, 'free' may end up costing you a modem rental fee, a service 'fee' outside of the normal $10 a month cost, a regulatory recovery fee, and/or any one of a number of other costs that make your Comcast bill advertised at $49.99 a month end up costing almost $80, or even a service contract that states you get 6 months free, but must maintain your service for a year or you get charged with an ETF which ends up being more than the $60 you'd otherwise be charged.
But in the end, the whole 'GUVMINT GIVIN TAKERS FREE STUFFS!1!' BS you were spewing is negated easily by noting...Comcast is doing this of its own accord, on the hope that its detractors stop slamming it, at least a little, and it is not motivated by government at all (Note: THE Comcast/NBC merger is long since a done deal...). IE, if it's anything, it's charity, which supposedly was the alternative the sort of folks who scream "Takers' like to push instead of government programs.
Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
Re: Shameless pandering... Us "sort of folks" (is that like "You people"?) actually like to push the concept of paying your own way, not accepting handouts of any kind. If you're "poor", then you do without, and you have an incentive to better yourself, which does not require home broadband service or a free iPad.
Comcast is doing this for PR, and throwing a bone the administration, believing they're greedy enough to seize on it, and gush at the opportunity to reward the free-lunch base.
Its sad that Comcast won't simply stand their ground, as there is no legal reason to oppose the merger.
Re: Shameless pandering... Yeah, I have no problem with lumping in people like you into an all inclusive group. I even have a nice one-word reply for you: Jerks. And the whole 'takers' thing goes so well with everyone out there: I mean, it won Romney the election, right?
Comcast throws a bone to the administration...for what? To get the merger through? Cluebus here for ya, buddy. the merger went through, back in 2011, so unless Comcast is working on a Time Machine to go back in the past and...I don't know, somehow make the merger go through even more, there's no reason for them to do jack now for their merger with NBC. But you're so blind with poor-bashing, you obviously didn't know that little fact, so you're on here, putting the jerk label I gave you to yourself, by preaching the whole 'go without' mantra.
But I guess that's all you have left going for you, given that you gave up on the whole 'Comcast is giving Free Stuffs' mantra to go onto Poor-Bashing. Left untouched is the point that Comcast isn't doing this for government support...it's doing it simply because it sees no detriment to itself giving away 1.5mbps internet for $10 a month to a few people it deems 'worthy', likely because 1.5mbps is a meager amount of bandwith, and that sub is $10 a month (at least) more than it would get otherwise....
Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
Re: Shameless pandering... No one was bashing the poor except you.
The poor are far better off without the government "helping" them, and that includes shaking down large corporations for freebies.
The rest of us would likewise, be far better off, if we were permitted to keep our hard-earned money, rather than have it taken by force in the name of the poor.