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FCC's low-income Internet includes $250 PCs, $10 access

updated 05:30 pm EST, Wed November 9, 2011

Target: 17m low-income housholds not connected

Private industry is chipping in to help increase adoption of computer technology and broadband access in the US. FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced today that the private sector will be contributing up to $4 billion in hardware and services to as many as 17 million low-income families. As part of the program, Microsoft will be offering $250 computers and the cable companies will be providing broadband Internet access for $10 a month.

"Roughly 100 million Americans aren't online at home," Genachowski stated in a speech earlier today. "That's a 68 percent adoption rate. Compare that to South Korea and Singapore where adoption rates top 90 percent. We can't afford to have a third of the country frozen out of the broadband economy."

The effort comes as part of the FCC's "Connect to Compete" initiative launched in late October. Microsoft will be offering the computers to low-income families with children eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Microsoft will be providing new desktop and laptop computers, Windows 7 OS and Microsoft Office. Additionally, Redemtech, a technology refurbishment company has committed to provide refurbished laptops or PCs for $150. These computers will be corporate grade, with Core 2 Duo processors, 4 GB of RAM, Windows 7, and Microsoft Office.

Cable companies, including BendBroadband, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Eagle Communications, GCI, Insight, Mediacom, Midcontinent, Sjoberg's (SHOW-BERGS) Cable,Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable will be offering these families $10 monthly broadband services with no installation fees, no activation fees, and no modem rental fees.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $100 will buy a very nice used Mac

    For those who do not need Flash, $100 will buy a very nice iMac G4.

    I bar Flash, period. I haven't missed a thing.

  1. ElectroTech

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cheap p*** for all

    The FCC has just offered the poor quick and easy access to p***, internet get rich quick schemes and worst of all, Windows.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    replacement PCs

    Who's going to pay to replace these garbage PCs WHEN they fail after a couple months of use? Why is Microsoft supplying them? They don't manufacture PCs, they only ship them full of garbage-ware. This is just another way Microsoft is trying to keep themselves relevant, by forcing out-of-date or defective junk PCs into the hands of people who can't afford anything or don't want the additional channel for junk mail and advertising. That's all these devices would become.

    I like the $10 broadband but I wonder if it will be any faster than what they could get by using DSL at the same price.

  1. Fiveboxes

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I want my free pony!

    Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner wasn't enough. Free cellphones with 250 free minutes per month (and more minutes for referring a friend!) wasn't enough. Subsidized housing, Medicaid, WIC, food stamps, and SCHIP weren't enough. Now, free computers and subsidized internet for the lazy. At what point do we, the taxpayers say "enough is enough"?

    If these people are getting all this free stuff, then I want a free pony! WHERE'S MY FREE PONY?!?!?

  1. facebook_Jj

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    Low Income Internet Service

    I think it's a great thing - coming from a low income family myself, I've found that temporary help is a good thing. I've managed to always aim for higher and I've reached most goals that I've set. I believe in helping others, but keep the help manageable and temporary. I also looked around to give info to those in need and Direct TV has already started taking requests for low income internet service (888) 750-2908.
    Also, to read more in detail, has specifics.

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