Comcast boosts Internet service for low-income families

The company announces its discounted service will be delivered at 10 megabits per second.

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Comcast announced Tuesday its discounted service for low-income families will be delivered at 10 megabits per second.

The price of Comcast’s Internet Essentialsservice isn’t changing – it’s $10 a month. That compares to the company’s standard rate of $67 a month for a standalone subscription to its 50 Mbps “Performance” Internet service. (Cheaper rates are available to customers who subscribe to more than one service, to new customers who negotiate an introductory deal and to returning customers who seek a “loyalty” discount.)

To qualify for the low-income discounts, families must be eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program. That means household income below $44,863 annually for a family of four. (Oregon’s median household income is around $53,000 a year.)


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A free Wi-Fi router is included in the company’s low-cost service.

In Hillsboro, officials have been examining the efficacy of laying their own fiber network to lower costs for residents. A consultant recently told the town to reconsider.

Building a $66 million, publicly owned fiber-to-the-home network would be “marginally” viable, a study by Colorado telecommunications consultant Uptown Services found. The project would become net cash positive in the 13th or 14th year, depending on whether Hillsboro both owned and operated the network or simply owned it and left operation to a third party.

But because of “the level of uncertainty built into the assumptions, it is quite possible that the actual performance of the program could fall outside of what would be acceptable,” wrote Hillsboro Information Services Director Greg Mont in a July 29 memo to the City Council.


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