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Comcast expands low-income offer

LOS ANGELES — Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, is expanding the number of low-income families that can automatically qualify for its $9.95-per-month Internet access. It’s also boosting download speeds on the service to 5 megabytes per second from 3.

The price is a big discount from a typical plan, which costs around $50 a month.

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Comcast first began its Internet Essentials program in 2011 as a voluntary condition of its $13.5 billion takeover of NBCUniversal.

Families qualify if they have children in school who get subsidized or free lunches. Starting immediately, students at about 25,000 schools with large low-income populations are automatically qualified, up from 20,000 previously.

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