Comcast makes changes for low-income families

Comcast makes changes for low-income families »Play Video

Amnesty from Comcast: some families who have not paid their bills will get a reprieve. Other families will get service for free.

This is part of a program called Internet Essentials, intended for people who can't afford access to high speed Internet.     

Comcast agreed to the program when it took over NBCUniversal. Internet Essentials provides Internet service to low-income families for $9.95 a month.

However, there have been complaints about the service.

The advocacy group California Emerging Technology Fund said the application process is too long and difficult, and the requirements too restrictive. The group said only about 10 percent of the people to sign up in California have done so, and the nationwide numbers are even lower.

CETF said it is essential to the future of the country that everyone has access to this kind of service.

Comcast announced some changes Monday.

The company said it will give six months of free service to new people signing up for Internet Essentials, and it will offer offer amnesty for families owing money for unpaid bills who want to sign up for the program.

In the past, Internet Essentials would not take families with past due Comcast bills. Now, the company said, if the bills are more than a year old, families can still sign up for the program.