One month after announcing the Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP) communities across the Commonwealth from Springfield and Holyoke to Boston have signed on and started to connected eligible families.
Today, we’re pleased to share that IEPP has been added to the State of Massachusetts vendor list, making it even easier for interested communities to participate and help close the digital divide. Specifically, IEPP is now available via the statewide ITT46 Network Services contract.
The Internet Essentials Partnership Program is designed to help accelerate Internet adoption at a critical time. IEPP enables cities, school districts, and community-based organizations to connect large numbers of low-income students to the Internet to support distance learning. The initiative builds on Comcast’s recent announcement that it will continue to offer, through the end of 2020, all new Internet Essentials customers two months of free Internet service and it will continue to waive the requirement that customers not have a past due balance so more families can apply.
In nearly ten years, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the Internet. It offers households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95/month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer, and multiple options for digital literacy training.
In recognizing the importance of high-speed access for distance learning, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “As we continue to work together to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, which we will, we must provide our students and their families the tools they need to succeed as we focus our efforts on enhancing our remote learning aspects. Thanks to Comcast and their ‘Internet Essentials Program’, which is paid for by our Springfield Pubic Schools, our eligible and low-income students will have access to the internet that will connect them with their teachers and schools. I want to thank Superintendent Dan Warwick and our dedicated School Committee members for supporting such an important endeavor as we all deal with these surreal and unprecedented times.”
Eligibility criteria for Internet Essentials includes eligibility for public assistance programs and residence within a Comcast coverage area. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. In addition, there are two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.