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Mediacom offers low-cost internet option

Program available to low-income families of K-12 students

A low-cost internet option is available for K-12 students in the Fort Dodge Community School District who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch through the National School Lunch Program.

“Home internet access is a tool that can help our students continue their learning outside the classroom,” said Jennifer Lane, Fort Dodge Community School District director of communications.

Mediacom offers Connect2Compete, which provides internet up to 10 Mbps for $9.95 a month, plus taxes, to qualifying families. The program requires no deposit, no contract, no installation fees, no rental equipment fees and provides a Wi-Fi modem via no-cost lease.

“The Connect2Compete program affords more of our students access to this tool, extending the opportunity for them to do research, complete assignments and learn,” Lane said.

Mediacom has offered this program since 2017. During the last school year, more than 600 Iowa families used the program, but in Fort Dodge, just 16 families had signed up. Mediacom is looking to increase that number by four-fold this year. To meet that goal, Mediacom representatives were at the Back to School Bash hosted by Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc., at Fort Dodge Middle School recently to provide information to parents and help with the sign-up process. However, families may apply for the program at any time, said Phyllis Peters, Mediacom senior director of communications.

“It’s important because there are many families who are on pretty tight budgets or have some income challenges and it’s hard to budget for home internet,” Peters said. “And at the same time, schools have increasingly required their students to do more homework, more projects and research papers and term papers using the internet and using out-of-class time.”

She added that many schools are now equipping students with laptop computers and tablets to take home to use for homework and projects, often requiring a Wi-Fi connection.

The Connect2Compete program is available anywhere there’s Mediacom service, including Webster City and Rockwell City, Peters said.

To qualify for the program, families must live in an area where Mediacom offers internet service, have at least one student in grades K-12 living at home, have at least one child who qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunch, are not a current Mediacom internet customer and have not subscribed to Mediacom internet service in the past 90 days and do not have an outstanding Mediacom bill or unreturned equipment. Families who do have an outstanding Mediacom bill or unreturned equipment can discuss payment options with Mediacom customer support.

Mediacom waives many of its fees for families in this program to help close the gap on educational opportunities available for low-income students.

For more information on the Connect2Compete program, visit www.mediacomc2c.com or call 1-855-904-2225.