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Comcast begins extending its low-cost internet program to senior citizens

Comcast is beginning to extend its low-cost internet service offering to senior citizens, launching pilot programs in San Francisco and Palm Beach County, Florida. The pilots are an extension of Comcast's Internet Essentials service, a low-cost internet plan that it's been offering to low-income families since 2011. It was initially launched on a temporary basis as a condition of its NBCUniversal purchase, but Comcast has kept the program running and continues to expand it. The program has traditionally offered 10 Mbps internet access for $9.95 per month to households with a child in the school lunch program; it's not stated what the requirements will be for senior citizens — it may well be something that Comcast is figuring out through these pilots.

Continuing the Internet Essentials program is very much part of Comcast's play to convince people that it's not totally evil; and fair enough: the program is addressing a real issue. There's a huge gap in internet access for low-income families. The situation is similar for senior citizens, and Internet Essentials' expansion could help to address that.

Disclosure: Comcast Ventures and NBCUniversal are investors in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.