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March 24, 2016

Comcast extends Internet Essentials program to public housing residents

About 5,000 HUD addresses in Philly are eligible

Comcast Internet Essentials
03242016_Comcast Source/Comcast

A Comcast employee stands outside a company vehicle.

Comcast is extending its Internet Essentials program to include public housing residents in Philadelphia and three other cities, company officials announced Thursday.

The extension expands eligibility requirements to enable public housing residents to gain high-speed Internet access at a low rate, provided Comcast services their address.

The expansion is part of a pilot program being launched in Philly, Nashville, Seattle and Miami-Dade County, Florida, by Comcast and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's ConnectHome initiative.

Comcast services about 5,000 HUD addresses in Philadelphia. Wilco, a competing company, services the majority of HUD addresses in the city.

The Internet Essentials program enables qualifying residents to purchase Internet for $9.95 per month. It primarily serves families with students who received free or reduced school lunches via the National School Lunch program. But low-income senior citizens and low-income community college students are also eligible.

The program has connected more than 600,000 families to the Internet. That number includes 24,000 from the Philadelphia region, up from 15,000 last year.