VCenturyLink Announces Internet Basics Program to Provide Low Cost Access and Free Internet Training to Low Income Households

Monroe, LA - October 3, 2011

CenturyLink, one of the top Internet service providers in the United States, has announced a new, special program that has been designed to promote high-speed broadband internet usage for low-income families throughout the country.

The program, announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Monroe, LA, has been named CenturyLink Internet Basics. The Internet Basics program will provide high-speed internet service for an affordable price to low income consumers that meet certain income eligibility requirements. Under the program, monthly high-speed broadband service will be made available for a monthly fee as low as $9.95.

CenturyLink currently provides internet service in 37 states. The Internet Basics program will be available everywhere CenturyLink provides service. Under the Internet Basics Program, consumers will be provided with an internet connection with speed of up to 1.5 Mbps downstream capability. Higher bandwidths, where they exist, will also be made available at comparable discounts.  Other internet service providers are expected to follow suit along with CenturyLink and XFINITY, who just rolled out their Internet Essentials program last month.

In addition, the program will provide to its participants an internet-ready netbook computer for a cost of just $150. The netbook will include free access to CenturyLink@Ease, a suite of support services that includes back-up and security features.

Because many low-income consumers have not had Internet access in the past, they are behind the rest of the country on the digital learning curve. Therefore CenturyLink has also committed to conducting computer education and technological training classes for participants at no additional cost. Arrangements have been made to hold these classes in community centers, schools, libraries and other local and government facilities beginning in the fall of 2011 and continuing throughout the year 2012. In all, classes are being arranged in more than 100 cities and towns around the nation.

"While the Internet has become part of daily life for most Americans, there are still many individuals who are still not connected simply because the cost is beyond their reach" said Glen F. Post III, President and CEO of CenturyLink. "Through our Internet Basics Program, CenturyLink is increasing the availability of internet access, plus the necessary tools and resources to bring new opportunities to many more families in our communities."

The company announced that participation eligibility will be determined by the same criteria used for the Lifeline Affordable Telephone Service. This is a special federally backed program used by CenturyLink to provide discounted telephone service to low-income customers.