Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FCC and Cable Operators Announce $10/Month Connect Plan

The FCC and leading NCTA cable operators announced a plan to offer all eligible families two-years of $9.95 + tax broadband cable Internet, with a no installation/activation fee option and no modem rental fees (with an option to purchase a $10 modem). The Connect to Compete initiative aims to close the digital divide. One-third of all Americans – 100 million people – haven't adopted broadband at home, according to FCC stats.

The program has an in-kind value of more than $2.5 billion if all eligible families take the offer, which represent on average a 70% discount off monthly broadband services charges.

Eligible families must have at least one student enrolled in the Free School Lunch Program; not be a current
subscriber to broadband (or have subscribed in the last 90 days); and not have an overdue bill or unreturned
equipment to the participating service provider.

Participating Internet service providers include: Bend Cable, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter,
Comcast (via Internet Essentials), Cox Communications, Eagle Communications, GCI, Insight, Mediacom,
Midcontinent, Sjoberg's Cable, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable.

The initiative also provides the opportunity to purchase discounted computers.

  • In approving the Comcast-NBCU mega-merger, the FCC and the Department of Justice imposed a number of conditions and commitments which generally will remain in effect for seven years. One of these conditions was a requirement to make available to approximately 2.5 million low income households: (i) high-speed Internet access service for less than $10 per month; (ii) personal computers, netbooks, or other computer equipment at a purchase price below $150; and (iii) an array of digital literacy education opportunities.

See also