WAKE FOREST, N.C. – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL), one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, is introducing CenturyLink Internet Basics to improve and promote broadband adoption and use by low-income consumers in eastern North Carolina.
To help get more low-income households online, CenturyLink is offering discounted High-Speed Internet service starting at $9.95 a month, plus applicable taxes and fees, to eligible consumers in North Carolina and 36 other states where it has local operations. The service provides access up to 1.5 Mbps downstream capability. Higher bandwidth services, where available, are offered at a comparable discount.
CenturyLink also is offering program participants an Internet-ready netbook computer for $150, plus taxes, shipping and handling. The new equipment includes access to CenturyLink@Ease™, a comprehensive suite of backup, security and support services.
“We are pleased to bring CenturyLink Internet Basics to our local service areas in eastern North Carolina,” said Kevin McCarter, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink in central and eastern North Carolina. “This program is designed to bridge the digital divide and provide assistance to families in New Bern, Jacksonville, Kinston, Greenville, and other communities in our area that need help getting online.”
In addition, CenturyLink is arranging basic computer education and technology through community groups and senior centers, as well as schools, libraries, and other state and local institutions, in more than 100 markets throughout the country.
The first of the free computer learning programs is starting in Trenton, N.C. on Oct.17. It will be held at Lenoir Community College’s Jones County Center (509 Highway 58 North, Trenton, N.C. 28585) starting at 10 a.m. There is no need to sign up in advance, but please arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to register. The program is offered free to the public. It is not necessary to be a CenturyLink customer to attend.
“With this free training program, CenturyLink is providing an opportunity to anyone who wants to learn more about the opportunities and resources that are available to them with a High-Speed Internet connection in their home,” McCarter said.
Participation in CenturyLink Internet Basics is determined by the criteria for the Lifeline Affordable Telephone Service, a federal program currently offered by CenturyLink that provides discounts on basic monthly telephone service to eligible low-income consumers.
According to a study on broadband adoption by the Federal Communications Commission, 60 percent of low-income households, which are defined as having annual incomes of less than $20,000, do not subscribe to High-Speed Internet service, compared to 35 percent of the entire U.S. population. Among those Americans who do not have broadband at home, 36 percent said it was because of the cost of the service and equipment, and 22 percent cited a “lack of digital literacy.”
For more information about CenturyLink Internet Basics, please visit http://www.centurylink.com/internetbasics
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice and wireless services to consumers and businesses across the country and advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink(TM) Prism(TM) TV and DIRECTV brands. In addition, the company provides data, voice and managed services to business, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers. CenturyLink also is recognized as a leader in the network services market by key technology industry analyst firms, and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis, a CenturyLink company. CenturyLink's customers range from Fortune 500 companies in some of the country's largest cities to families living in rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.