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Workers paint the Walt Whitman Bridge, 378 feet above the Delaware river. Shot and Produced by Jose F. Moreno/Gannett

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PHILADELPHIA – Nearly 20,000 New Jersey families are now using Comcast’s low-cost internet service, the communications giant recently announced.

Comcast offers Internet Essentials to low-income families to help bridge the digital divide. Many of the families that take advantage of the program have school-aged children who use the service to become and stay academically competitive.

Comcast officials say 93 percent of Internet Essentials customers reported an improvement in their child’s grades.

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The service offers high-speed connections for $9.95 a month and options to buy an internet-ready computer for $150. Internet Essentials also connects users to free, digital literacy training opportunities.

The program, now in its sixth year, has brought internet service to more than 4 million people across the country.

Internet Essentials now offers high-speed access at 15/2 Mbps (Comcast says the speed is triple what’s necessary to view high-def videos online) and 40 hours of free access to Xfinity WiFi hotspots each month.

To apply for the program or learn more about it, call (855) 846-8376 or visit www.internetessentials.com

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