Charter Communications will team with One Economy to give
free broadband service to up to 1,000 households in St. Louis, where Charter is based.
One Economy, a nonprofit whose goal is to get broadband to
low-income areas, will handle the training and technology--computers for those
who don't have them--and Charter will provide the broadband service free for
two years, which it says works out to about $700,000.
The FCC is preparing to release its broadband plan to
Congress March 16, which stresses the importance of broadband connection as a
way to insure lower income and minority communities are full participants in
what the FCC and Obama administration see as an increasingly and rapidly evolving,
It is targeting low-income households, which distinguishes
it from the larger cable-industry broadband, Adoption-Plus (A+), which will
provide a 50% discount on broadband service to households with middle
school-aged kids, so long as the government will put up the money for a
training program and other partners help with the equipment side. Charter is
also part of that effort.
Charter Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer Ted Schremp
said Charter is looking to get the program kicked off in the next three or four
weeks. It will likely take three or four
months to get the pilot program up and running, according to Schremp.
He also noted that the program may be extended. "If we
see some early success, we may broaden it, either with participation in St. Louis or
In addition to One Economy, partners in the effort include
community development organization Better Family Life, Habitat For Humanity and