Plans for high-speed Internet will be discussed next week at a meeting at Willow Springs.

CenturyLink Inc., which provides Internet services in Texas County, is offering the “CenturyLink Internet Basics” package in the south-central Missouri market to improve and promote broadband adoption and use by low-income consumers.

To help get more low-income households online, CenturyLink is offering discounted high-speed Internet service starting at $9.95 per month, plus applicable taxes and fees, to eligible consumers in south-central Missouri. The service provides access up to 1.5 Mbps downstream capability. Higher bandwidth services, where available, are offered at a comparable discount.

CenturyLink is also offering program participants an Internet-ready netbook computer for $150, plus taxes, shipping and handling. The new equipment includes access to a comprehensive suite of backup, security and support services.

“CenturyLink is pleased to offer affordable High-Speed Internet service and computers to those who need help getting online,” said Bill Fallin, CenturyLink’s vice president and general manager for southern Missouri.

In addition, CenturyLink is arranging basic computer education and technology training at no cost to Internet Basics customers. The classes are being offered through community groups and senior centers, as well as schools, libraries and other state and local institutions, in more than 100 markets throughout the country.

Participation in CenturyLink Internet Basics is determined by the criteria for the Lifeline Affordable Telephone Service, a federal program currently offered by CenturyLink that provides discounts on basic monthly telephone service to eligible low-income consumers.

According to a study on broadband adoption by the Federal Communications Commission, 60 percent of low-income households, which are defined as having annual incomes of less than $20,000, do not subscribe to high-speed Internet service, compared to 35 percent of the entire U.S. population. Among those Americans who do not have broadband at home, 36 percent said it was because of the cost of the service and equipment, and 22 percent cited a “lack of digital literacy.”

For more information about CenturyLink Internet Basics, visit


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