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Low-Cost Internet Program For Poor Families To Expand

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(STEPHANIE PILICK/AFP/GettyImages)

(STEPHANIE PILICK/AFP/GettyImages)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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RIVERDALE, Ill. (CBS) – Local officials say a program to help low–income families connect to the Internet has become the most successful such effort in the nation.

WBBM Newsradio’s Craig Dellimore reports, in partnership with local officials, Comcast offers $10-a-month broadband Internet service, and even low-cost computers to qualifying low-income families through its “Internet Essentials” program.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Cook County has more participants in the program than any other county in the U.S.

“We have nearly 16,000 families; approximately 64,000 individuals participating in the program,” she said.

Comcast vice president Mathew Summy announced an expansion of the program on Thursday.

“We offer a computer – a netbook, initially – for $150,” he said. “It’s not just about having the access in the home, but it’s about having the technology itself. We’re expanding that as well, now; to include desktops, as well as laptops.”

Riverdale resident Rosetta Burton said she got the service for her granddaughter, though she admitted she uses it, too.

“It was something that I always wanted, but wasn’t able to afford it. I had to go so far away to the library to … go on the Internet,” she said. “Now I’m grateful to Comcast that we’re able to do that here at home now.”

Officials said they’re working to bridge the digital divide that often leaves poorer families at a disadvantage.

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