Cable cos. to offer $9.95 broadband for poor homes

(AP) -- As part of a federal effort to get more U.S. homes connected to broadband, cable companies will offer Internet service for $9.95 per month to homes with children that are eligible for school lunches, starting next summer.

Federal regulators are announcing Wednesday that they've cobbled together a consortium of businesses and non-profit organizations to cut the number of U.S. homes that don't have broadband, now at one third, or about 35 million homes.

The initiative, called "Connect-to-Compete," also includes Microsoft, which pledges to sell PCs with its Office suite for $250 to low-income families.

Chairman Julius Genachowski says are less likely to be connected to broadband, hampering them in job searches and job applications.

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