Sept. 6, 2016 04:15 PM

Families that are eligible for reduced-school lunches can now benefit from heavily discounted internet service at home.

Nice going, Cox Communications.


The local telecom has announced that an additional 70,000 low-income families within its nationwide service area are now eligible for discounted internet service through the company’s Connect2Compete program.


Eligibility requirements have been expanded to include families with at least one K-12 child who qualifies for reduced-school lunches through the National School Lunch Program. The program was previously only available to families with a child on free lunch.


“I think broadband is the great equalizer. When a child has internet access at home, he is able to more easily complete homework assignments and be better prepared in the classroom. It levels the playing field,” says Patricia Thompson, Cox public affairs manager.


The Connect2Compete program offers low-income families across Acadiana internet two years of access at a discounted price of $9.95 per month with no price increases, activation fees or equipment rental fees that are usually associated with the high-speed internet program.


The program also offers free in-home WiFi, free installation and free access to hundreds of thousands of WiFi hotspots strategically located in markets across the country through Cox WiFi and Cable WiFi. The program offers a 10 megabit download and 2 megabit upload speed.


In addition to families participating in the National School Lunch Program, eligibility for Connect2Compete also extends to families with at least one K-12 student who live in HUD-assisted housing or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


Cox Communications was the first Internet Service Provider to work with Connect2Compete and the FCC to conduct a pilot test of the program in its San Diego market in spring of 2012, and the program was launched in Acadiana later that year.


There are two restrictions for families interested in qualifying for the program: They cannot have subscribed to Cox High Speed Internet service within the last 90 days and they may not have any outstanding bills or unreturned equipment with Cox.


Families interested in finding more information on Connect2Compete, or signing up, are encouraged to call 1-855-222-3252, or visit Connect2Compete.org/Cox.

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