Low-Income Families To Benefit From Internet Plan

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About one third of Americans — 100 million people — do not have Internet access in their homes. The fear is they'll be left behind as schools and employers rely more on technology. Companies will offer broadband service to eligible families for $9.95 a month.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a new effort to bridge the digital divide. The government is unveiling a plan today to offer cheap broadband access and computers to low-income families. It's easy to miss if you're online all the time, but about one third of Americans - that would be 100 million people, give or take - do not have Internet access in their homes. The fear is they'll be left behind as schools and employers rely more on that technology.

This plan will be overseen by a nonprofit, but private companies will provide the goods. Companies including Time Warner and Cox will offer broadband service to eligible families for $9.95 per month. Microsoft and a PC refurbisher will sell computers for as low as $150.

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