IMPORTANT: Lifeline Internet pilot programs have been completed and the results evaluated. The FCC has now made $9.25 monthly discounts available in all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The following article is now dated.
Thanks to many U.S. internet providers, public and private broadband initiatives, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and expanding array of cheap internet plans are available to millions of low-income Americans suffering through a difficult economy.
If you’re among the rising number of Americans who cannot afford a typical, yet expensive, high-speed internet service that is required to function in everyday life, the programs like Access from AT&T, Internet Essentials, Internet Basics and Connect2Compete explained in this website may help you get online at a price you can afford. Not only will you learn about how to get internet service for as low as $5 a month, you’ll see how you can get a Microsoft Office-loaded notebook computer for only $150, which even includes free training. However, we recommend $149 Chromebooks to our readers.
We at CheapInternet.com are experts on the low-income internet plans; use us as your official, go-to source for everything you need to know about all the accessible and inexpensive internet service plans that make high-speed broadband internet affordable for everyone.
Understand that these low-cost internet plans are not stripped down, low-speed dial-up services. Not at all. These are blazing fast, high-speed broadband service plans that qualify for the term “broadband internet,” with no special restrictions on their speed or use; these are the same types of plans you would pay many times over for without these beneficial programs. Your internet connection will be either DSL, which works through a telephone company, or cable internet, which as you would imagine comes into your house through a cable connection (with TV or no TV service). Both are fast, operating at the same speed as normal-cost internet plans from the same vendors.
Cheap High Speed Internet Access is Important in Today’s World
Having high-speed internet service available has never been more important than it is today. Tens of millions of Americans are suffering terribly in this poor economy. The official unemployment rate is at near record levels and the real unemployment rate is actually much higher than what’s reported. Most new jobs seem to be part time, as the new healthcare law forces employers to convert as many full-time workers as possible to 29 hours or less. Even though unemployed, or underemployed, these Americans still need internet access for work, family, medical and emergency needs.
The fact is, quality internet access has increasingly become an important key to finding a job. Consider these startling statistics that were recently reported:
- Most of the nation’s largest companies (over 80% of them according to another recent survey) including large companies like Wal-Mart and Target, now require job applications to be filled out online, rather than in person. No internet access, no job.
- Students from homes with broadband service have 6-8% higher graduation rates than students without high-speed internet at home. In other words, the digital divide leads to higher dropout rates.
- 50% of today’s jobs require some minimal technological skills. Experts predict that this will increase to 77% in ten years or less. So, even if you don’t need internet access to get your next job, you’ll need it to get the one after that.
Now, low-cost Internet Service for Low Income Americans
Internet access –- as provided through the organizations profiled in this site — can be a complex, confusing subject. There are several inexpensive broadband programs available, depending upon where you live.
The main low-income internet programs are Internet Essentials by Comcast and Internet Basics by CenturyLink, thanks to deals struck with the FCC, who has been a strong advocate for bringing cheaper internet to needy Americans. The federal government stood its ground and got something for consumers in return for granting something the companies wanted.
There is also a national program called Connect2Compete to help poor school kids get internet and digital literacy training. Many of the nation’s major cable companies (well-known names such as Cox Cable, Cablevision, Time-Warner Cable and Charter) and many more of the smaller, regional cable companies (such as Mediacom, Bend Cable, Bright House Networks, Eagle Communications and Sjoberg’s Cable) have banded together under to work with Connect2Compete.
And still other unique programs are occasionally offered by various cities and entities around the country. CheapInternet.com monitors the programs, both public and private, and the broadband initiatives of the FCC, and keeps you up to date on the cheapest internet service offerings that can help you and your family.
In addition to these public-private partnership programs, we’re now starting to see private companies begin to offer very inexpensive internet, and in fact, we even have a company listed that provides absolutely free internet for light usage. And you can get it in either a home wifi setup or on your mobile device such as an Android phone. We predict more and more of these affordable internet programs will sprout up from private companies and we’ll inform you as each one surfaces.
People often write in to let us know that they have successfully obtained affordable internet service, thanks to the information on this site. If you’d like to share your story, please use our contact form; we’d love to hear from you.
“Hello, My name is Deondra, and my family receives food stamps, cash assistance, and my son is in the free lunch program at his school. I have recently applied to and now receive inexpensive internet service through the Centurylink Internet Basics program, and now my son can do his schoolwork, and my husband can look for work. We are desperate to be self sufficient, like many Americans, and this program is just what we needed.” -Deondra
“I’d just like to say that these programs are a Godsend for people that cannot afford high speed internet. I’m was on dial-up now, and it was driving me crazy! I’m on SSI, Sec,8, Medicaid, and food stamps. After reading your site I ended up with Internet Basics for only $10 a month. I’m pretty computer literate, and I use the computer to pay my bills, rent, communicate with my doctors, family, and friends. I have arthritis in my hips, so, I’m very limited in my mobility, which is why I depend on the computer a great deal. It’s made my life so easier.” – Rachel
“My name is Maria and I want to thank you so much for your website. Now that my son has started high school, I’ve been feeling so bad that he has to take a bus down to the library to get on a computer for homework, while most of his classmates have internet at home. But after reading your website I realized that he can qualify for Internet Essentials since he’s on the school lunch program. $10 a month! OMG, I thank God for this. And he got a netbook computer too. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I know my son is on his way to college now!” – Maria
“My wife and I both have freedompop and think this is an absolutely fantastic service! For those that need more than the standard amount of data/minutes there is the ability to add those features for a very reasonable cost! Thank you FreedomPop!” – Jon
Get started now: go to our low income internet page.