Comcast is promoting its low-cost internet program by forgiving old debts

Comcast wants to merge with Time Warner Cable. To do that, it needs to convince the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission that the merger won’t create a monopoly or hurt consumers. And since Comcast can’t offer much in the way of good customer service, its promise to extend Comcast-level quality to America’s second-largest ISP rings a little hollow. But the company has at least one legitimate, potentially meaningful arrow in its rhetorical quiver: the Internet Essentials plan, which subsidizes the cost of basic broadband for low-income subscribers.

For families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program (which generally applies to households who make 185 percent or less of the poverty line), Internet…

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