UPDATE: APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 25TH!

With high-speed internet costs peaking at around $115 per month, internet access is becoming an increasing financial burden for some families. The high cost of internet is also a contributing factor to the digital literacy divide between low-income and middle class families.

To decrease this divide, Comcast has instituted the “Internet Essentials Program”, which will provide six months of free internet to eligible families in the Sacramento area. Families that qualify for Internet Essentials, and are not currently Comcast customers, can receive free internet from Comcast if they apply and are approved for the program by March 18th, 2014.

Families must have at least once child that participates in the National School Lunch Program (a child that receives free and reduced lunch). When approved for the program, participants can get access to low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person.

Since the start of the program in 2011, 5,150 Sacramento Metro Area families and 25,750 California families have registered for the Internet Essentials program.

Interested families can click here (you will be routed to the internet essentials website), to apply for the Internet Essentials program. Recent updates have made it much easier to access and apply for the internet essentials program, making it more accessible to the closed networks of libraries and community centers.

For more information about Internet Essentials, please visit internetessentials.com, or click here to view the Comcast media room editorial on the program.