July 15, 2019
Consumers with disabilities can benefit tremendously from mobile devices they receive for free from state equipment distribution programs. However, many of these devices require Wi-Fi in the home to take full advantage of the equipment. For consumers with limited income, being able to afford internet access can be a serious challenge. With this in mind, RAZ Mobility will work with the non-profit, Human-I-T, to bring consumers a low-cost option. Human I-T offers low-cost internet access as part of their mission to shrink the “digital divide”.
Internet Access is expensive. Xfinity (i.e., Comcast), the largest cable company in the country, charges $29.99 per month for the first twelve months and $74.95 per month thereafter (see plan details at here). They also charge an installation fee of “up to $500”. And this is their least expensive plan! That’s a total of $1,459.28 for two years of service, assuming an installation fee of $200.
On the other hand, Human-I-T offers low-income consumers a hot spot connected to the Sprint network at a one-time cost of $100 for the equipment and only $15 per month thereafter. The total cost over two years is $460. That’s less than a third of the cost of Xfinity service. And the consumer has a tremendous amount of flexibility for how they pay. For example, they can pay each month, or they can pay for three months of service at a time or they can skip a payment, and not purchase service for a specific month if they are tight on money, and then purchase service the following month. The service does not have any data limits whatsoever. It is truly unlimited.
Human-I-T requires that applicants submit documentation proving that they are low income. RAZ Mobility has arranged that for certain state equipment distribution programs, the program approval letter can serve as proof of eligibility. As an example, Human-I-T has agreed that the approval letter for the State of Maryland’s equipment distribution program will serve as sufficient proof. If the consumer does not have such an approval letter, they can always submit other approved documentation to prove that they are low income. Consumers can apply for this service here.
RAZ Mobility hopes that this new option will further reduce the barriers of adopting technologies that rely on internet access.