Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Comcast announced Friday that nearly 16,000 families in the county had joined Comcast’s "Internet Essentials" program, more than any county in the nation.
The "Internet Essentials" program connects eligible families to the Internet for $10 a month. To qualify, families must have a child who receives free lunch under the National School Lunch Program.
The nation's largest cable operator launched the program 16 months ago. It now has more than 150,000 eligible low-income families, or an estimated 600,000 people nationally enrolled in the program.
Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which own NBC Chicago.
The program will run for at least three school years, but any household that qualifies during the three-year period will remain eligible for the discounted prices as long as a child in the household continues to receive a free lunch under the NSLP.
"We are working on bridging the significant digital divide in Cook County. Children need access to the Internet to succeed in school, and families need access to the Internet to fully participate in the 21st century economy," Preckwinkle said.
The Internet Essentials program also allows eligible families to purchase computers for around $150, and access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person.
For more information about Internet Essentials, please visit www.comcast.com/opportunity.