Internet providers give special rates to low-income homes with school-age kids

Many internet providers are offering special rates to low-income households with school-age kids.

It’s part of an effort to eliminate the disadvantage low-income students would face in completing their homework online.

CenturyLink charges $9.95 a month for speeds up to 1.5Mbps with a 12-month contract.

Comcast offers internet for $9.95 a month if applicants have kids eligible for free or reduced lunch, or if parents are in a housing assistance program. Spectrum requires customers to meet the same standards for internet costing $14.99 a month.

AT&T has internet rates starting at $5, depending on speed. Households that qualify for the Lifeline/TAP phone service program are eligible.

Meadowridge Supervising Librarian, Alice Oakey, said even with discounted rates some low-income households may not be able to afford other equipment needed to get assignments done.

Oakey said the Meadowood neighborhood has limited resources for students. At least 30 students visit the Meadowridge Library a day to use computers, printers and receive help from tutors.

“We’re in a neighborhood where we are the resource for internet, for adults and kids we have 11 internet computers and for all of the hours we’re open, ours are used 75 percent of the time, which is the highest amount of any location in the south central library system.”

The Meadowridge Library recently increased the number computer-use time to two hours because of the growing need for internet access.