(KPIX 5) — A growing number of low-income Californians are eligible for $10 a month broadband service due to the expansion of program run by Comcast.
The program, called Internet Essentials, has only been available for seniors in some cities and families with children who participate in the national school lunch program.
The program is now open to anyone in public housing or receiving any government housing assistance.
Even in the home of Silicon Valley, plenty of people in California still have no internet connection at home because they can’t afford it, creating what it known as the “digital divide.”
Kami Griffths, with the digital literacy group Community Technology Network, says not having a computer and internet service at home keeps people in poverty. “If you’re not connected, you can’t access the resources that are available,” she said. “You can’t do your homework, you’re not going to do as well in school.”
Griffiths said using cellphones and public WiFi isn’t cutting it. “There are tons of websites that are not mobile-optimized and this act of cutting and pasting and doing more advanced tasks on a phone … is almost impossible.”
Studies show those most likely not to have internet connections at home are people who have not graduated from high school, non-citizens, and those with household incomes of less than $20,000.
The program also allows participants to buy a refurbished computer for $150.
For more information on the program, visit internetessentials.com.