An Internet road map

Posted: March 07, 2013

DO YOU NEED cheap Internet access, an affordable laptop or computer classes? How about all of the above? Here's a road map for bridging the digital divide.

Say you need to get online ASAP. For free.

*  There are 79 free computer labs (a/k/a "Keyspots") in Philadelphia, where you can take computer classes or just go online. Get more information at 3-1-1, 215-851-1990, phillykeyspots.org or @Phillykeyspots on Twitter.

*  The Free Library of Philadelphia offers Internet access at many branches. Get more information at 215-686-5322, freelibrary.org or @Free

Library.

Now that you've taken care of that, maybe you could use Internet access at home.

* Comcast's "Internet Essentials" program offers broadband service for $9.95 a month. To qualify, you must have a child who is eligible for a free or reduced-cost federal lunch. Students at public, private, parochial and charter schools qualify. So do home-schooled kids. Get more information at 855-8-INTERNET, internetessentials.com or @Comcast.

*  If you're not eligible, Wilco Electronics provides Internet access for $14.95 a month in partnership with Mobile Citizen. Get more information at 215-540-3930 or wilcoinc.com.

*  If you already have a Verizon landline, you can get the company's DSL service starting at $14.95 a month. Get more information at 800-837-4966, verizon.com

or @Verizon.

Or perhaps what you really need is a discounted computer.

*  If you're eligible for Comcast's "Internet Essentials" program, then you also are eligible for a $150 netbook, refurbished computer or laptop when you sign up.

* Nonprofit Technology Resources sells low-cost computers. Get more information at 215-564-6686 or ntrweb.org.

- Holly Otterbein

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