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Blog // Connect Minnesota

Internet Basics Program Targets the Broadband Affordability Gap

By Wil Payton

A 2011 Connected Nation survey conducted across multiple states and territories indicated that nationwide, approximately 5.5 million households with annual incomes below $25,000 and with children present do not subscribe to home broadband service.

Across the board, households with lower incomes subscribe to broadband at a lower rate than higher-income households.

But how much of a barrier is affordability and what is the most efficient and effective way of bridging the Affordability Gap? Several organizations are attempting to address these issues.

One such initiative, launched by CenturyLink, is called Internet Basics, a broadband adoption program that targets several of the key barriers to adoption for lower income families by providing affordable high-speed Internet service, affordable personal computers, and access to free computer and Internet training programs.

Through the program, eligible low- income customers in all of CenturyLink’s local service markets have access to a $9.95 a month high-speed Internet service for a full year, and then continued discounted service for $14.95 per month for an additional four years. Internet Basics also offers a new, Internet-ready netbook computer for $150, as well as free personal training and tools in more than 100 communities nationwide.

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