The idea that high-speed home Internet access is a necessity was brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were periods of time when many families were stuck at home, but the Internet allowed us to stay connected in so many different ways.
As a single mom and small business owner living and working from home in Essex, Vermont, I use the Internet every single day. I take my home Internet for granted because it is so reliable and seamlessly present in my life. It is there for me every day for absolutely everything I need, including writing this article. Xfinity home Internet access opens the whole world for my family.
Some specific areas where home Internet access is critical for us include:
Thanks to my home Internet access, remote learning during the COVID pandemic didn’t pose any sort of challenge for my family. Xfinity Internet services allow my daughter to connect with her classmates whenever she wants. She and her classmates read articles, research, and complete homework assignments from home. They hold meetings, play games, and meet for classes remotely too. Technology allows them to meet as a class and then break into small virtual “rooms” for small group discussions and to work on projects. It is so cool to see the technology that’s currently available to support learning. And none of this would be possible without home Internet access.
Community and Connection
Like all preteens, my daughter loves staying connected on all the social media platforms I allow her to use. She sends her friends makeup tutorials and memes, and competes in online video games that she tries (in vain) to explain to me. Photos of our cats, with and without digital art added, are a hot commodity among her friend group and I am perpetually entertained by our cats’ tolerance for funny hats and photoshoots.
During peak COVID, when we were staying close to home, Xfinity Internet allowed my family to see each other virtually and connect when we couldn’t be together in person. I also had fun virtual game nights with friends and colleagues pretty regularly. Seeing friends and family made the isolation of lockdown bearable for a lot of us.
Reliable, fast home Internet allows me and my family to see medical care providers virtually too, which I love. Who wants to drive when they’re not feeling well? Do we really need to expose ourselves to germs when we’re already feeling sick? Remote therapy lets me admire my therapist’s hanging quilt collection as I get care from my living room. Also, I never need to miss an appointment because someone in my family is sick. I’m also much less likely to be late when I am not searching for parking. Virtual appointments are so convenient.
Not to mention that my mom and countless other older Vermonters can now get prompt medical attention virtually while in the comfort of their homes. My mom reports that she and her friends have now become entirely unwilling to wait in drafty, germy doctor’s offices. I can’t argue with their logic because I don’t want to either.
As a small business owner, I was able to continue running Vermont Mom during the peak of the COVID pandemic. I did not lose my investment because I could continue to meet with clients and writers virtually. Thank goodness for my home Internet access. Another thing I do not take for granted is the ability to apply and interview for jobs, all through a computer screen with the help of my Xfinity Internet service.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the music, streaming, podcasts, audiobooks, online libraries, and other forms of entertainment I access through my home Internet daily. These might seem like luxuries, but in the middle of a typical Vermont mud season, when it’s wet and bitterly cold, or during those winter days where the cold literally takes your breath away, cuddling up with your loved ones to watch a family show is something small and wonderful. You really can’t discount simple pleasures like this and how they keep us all, particularly parents with little kids, cheery.
Modern life continues to be driven by technology, and for my family, home Internet access is much more important than it initially might seem. It is critical to our day-to-day life and for providing some measure of happiness. However, some Vermonters face barriers – like affordability and digital literacy – in adopting home Internet service. Comcast is proud to support the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to make home Internet available to more people.
The Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is designed to increase home Internet access by providing eligible low-income households with up to $30/month for Internet and/or Mobile services (or $75/month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands).
Comcast maximizes the ACP subsidy through Mobile and Internet Essentials offerings for qualifying people who need help paying for services. Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive Internet adoption program.
Comcast has been helping bridge the digital divide for over ten years through Internet Essentials. They have connected more than ten million people to home Internet during this time, and they pledge to spend a billion dollars in the next ten years to further advance digital equity through Project Up. Comcast is working hard to bridge the digital divide between the Internet haves and the have-nots.
To qualify for ACP, the entire household income must either be at or below two times the federal poverty level (currently this is $55,500/year for a family of four, or $27,180/year for an individual) or participate in specific federal assistance programs like Lifeline, SNAP/EBT, or free and reduced-price school lunch.
Anyone is welcome to visit www.Xfinity.com/acp or call 844-389-4681 to find out more about this program, determine eligibility, or sign up. People can also visit an Xfinity Store to ask about free or discounted Internet options through the ACP.
Comcast has multiple ways of helping people use the ACP to get connected.
Comcast’s Internet Essential Offerings
Internet Essentials provides qualifying low-income households with home Internet access for $9.95/month, which would be covered entirely by the federal ACP subsidy. Internet Essentials also helps qualifying customers purchase low-cost computers and access free WiFi hotspots, and even provides free Internet training.
Additionally, Comcast has created two other offers to give customers more flexibility to choose the services that best meet their needs and to take full advantage of the $30 monthly federal ACP subsidy.
- Internet Essentials Plus, which costs $29.95/month for Internet. This is fully covered by the ACP subsidy.
- Xfinity Mobile. Customers must be Xfinity Internet customers to sign up for Xfinity Mobile. The ACP credit will be applied first to the customer’s Xfinity Internet service and the balance of the credit to Xfinity Mobile.
This new Xfinity Mobile offer is particularly useful for Comcast’s Internet Essentials customers. For Internet Essential customers, the ACP credit of $30/month is applied first to the Internet service selected and the remainder of the subsidy is then applied to the Xfinity Mobile service.
For example, folks with Internet Essentials will use $9.95/month of their $30/month ACP federal subsidy for Internet service. If they choose, they can add a Mobile line with unlimited 5G cellular data to their plan. This costs $45/month. However, the remainder of the ACP subsidy, or $20.05, will be applied to the Mobile bill. This leaves the customer with as little as $24.95/month to pay for home Internet and unlimited 5G cellular data.
If you are interested in learning more about how Comcast participates in the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program, and to see if you qualify for assistance to receive home Internet service, please check out www.Xfinity.com/acp or call 844-389-4681. You are also welcome to visit your local Xfinity store to get help from an associate.
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