Left to right: Gary Underwood, Charter; Alyssa Kenny, DANEnet; Rep. Melissa Sargent; De’Kendrea Stamps, EMCC; Adam Raschka, Charter, and Connie Luck, Charter. Photo provided by Charter.

By Wes W. Shirley
Charter Communications

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help low-income families and senior citizens bridge the digital divide, Charter Communications, Inc. was joined by Wisconsin State Rep. Melissa Sargent, Alyssa Kenney, Executive Director of DANEnet, and leaders from the East Madison Community Center to promote Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost, high-speed broadband service now offered through Charter Communications. The event was held Oct. 13 at the East Madison Community Center and included a community dinner.

Spectrum Internet Assist provides eligible customers with low-cost broadband speeds of up to 30 megabits per second (mbps) downstream and four mbps upstream. This exceeds the definition of “high-speed” internet put forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Spectrum Internet Assist also includes standard features like email, internet security software and a modem at no additional charge. Spectrum Internet Assist is now available throughout Charter’s 41-state service area.

“It’s crucial for cable and broadband providers like us to play a role in bridging the digital divide so that everyone has access to the information and tools they need to succeed in today’s economy,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter Communications Chairman and CEO. “Charter is uniquely positioned to bring a whole new world of digital access and opportunity to low income families and seniors. Spectrum Internet Assist is an important next step in providing true high-speed connections to those who would otherwise continue to face a digital inequality in this country,” said Rutledge.

“I’m proud to join Charter Communications and DANEnet to announce Spectrum Internet Assist is coming to Dane County,” said Rep. Melissa Sargent. “Income shouldn’t influence whether people have access to information, and this important program will remove barriers and make it affordable for low-income families and senior citizens right here in our community to access high-speed broadband service.”

In an effort to ensure more low-income families in Madison have the tools and resources they need to be successful in the digital world, Charter announced a $5,000 contribution to DANEnet to fund digital literacy workshops around the Madison area. Charter is also providing $1,000 to the East Madison County Community Center to support its youth achievement programming.

“Full, quality access to home broadband is critical for full participation in society,” said Alyssa Kenny, Executive Director of DANEnet. “Whether it be for online banking, to learn, access information or be socially connected, home connectivity is necessary. Spectrum Internet Assist is a fantastic step forward to creating quality, affordable access for disconnected families. Further, with a financial contribution from Spectrum, DANEnet will be able to offer free computer classes to ensure adults have the digital literacy skills they need to make full use of home internet.”

To assist consumers with the eligibility process and enrollment, Charter has a dedicated Spectrum Internet Assist website: www.SpectrumInternetAssist.com. Prospective enrollees may also call the Spectrum Internet Assist toll-free helpline at 1-844-525-1574 for assistance.

Spectrum Internet Assist eligibility:

  • Families with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program
  • Seniors who are 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits
  • Additional criteria: (1) Current phone and video customers who meet one of the two criteria above may enroll. (2) Prospective SIA enrollees cannot have had a Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up. (3) Eligible participants will not need to undergo a credit check but they must clear any outstanding debt with Charter, Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks from the previous 12 months