Help navigating all the various internet plans

We’ve done our best to make it simple for you to learn about the various cheap internet programs for low-income Americans, but we understand that it can be confusing because there are so many plans, and they have different eligibility rules, different geographic availability, and not all are fully implemented yet.

We’ve written this page to help you more easily find the right plan for you. Please read the entire page to get a handle on what programs are available.

Low-Income Internet vs Cheap Internet Service vs Free Internet

There are three main links in the navigation menu above that represent the broad categories of low-cost internet programs available.

    Low-Income Internet: these are created specifically to provide high-speed internet access to people who are having financial difficulties. Some programs are government-sponsored, some are provided by industry, and others are smaller regional programs started by grass roots or non-profit organizations. All of the programs offer high-speed internet access for under $10 a month.

    Non income-based, low-cost Internet Service: If you cannot qualify for a low-income internet program, you’re not out of luck yet. We’ve identified several companies that you can get connected through which are not as expensive as the typical cable or DSL internet companies. Click the menu link in the header named “More Cheap Plans.”

    Free Internet: Believe it or not, you can get free internet from a few providers. They are meant for light usage, but maybe that’s all you need. The companies provide cheap, affordable Internet at no monthly fee, hoping to upgrade you someday to a paid account.

We cannot tell you which program you qualify for, either by need or by location. The only way for you to know is to go through the program pages we described above and if you think the program is for you, go to the the programs website and enter your address to see if it’s available at your location.

Suggested Steps to Find your Internet Plan

Finding an internet plan among all the options on can be mind-boggling. So here’s our recommended step-by-step approach to finding a plan you qualify for, listed with best options first:

Do you 1) receive food stamps (SNAP), public housing assistance, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income, various Home Energy Assistance Programs, National School Lunch or other major government assistance program, or 2) earn 135% or less of the Federal Poverty Level?

Do you 1) receive food stamps (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or have a child that qualifies for a school lunch program?

Do you have a child in your household that qualifies for, or is enrolled in, the National School Lunch program?

    Try Bright House Networks Low-Income Internet plan program, which offers broadband cable wherever Bright House offers service. Note, however, that their enrollment period is only around August and September when school starts after summer.
    Try Connect2Compete. While they also offer Internet Essentials, they may also be able to hook you up with other cable and wireless internet service providers.

If none of the above works, please call your child’s school and ask if they have any low-cost internet programs available to students. Often, these programs and others are promoted directly through the schools.

If you still didn’t find a provider:

Lifeline Internet program coming soon

    Lifeline Internet is going to be an expansion of the federal Lifeline Assistance program which provides free cell phones or discounted landline phones to low-income Americans. By already being on government assistance like SNAP and Medicaid, for instance, you will qualify. You can also qualify strictly on your income if it is below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Level (depending upon state). Lifeline Internet is currently in a $30 million pilot program. Once they work out the details though the pilot, they will set the final rules and roll it out. We do not yet know if it will be free or if they will charge a minimal monthly fee. The FCC is really interested in this, and we think you could see availability by the end of the year. Keep checking back for updates.

New programs are rolling out all the time

Bridging the “Digital Divide” by helping low-income Americans obtain high-speed broadband internet is an important goal of the federal government, state government, cities, non-profits and private companies. There is a massive push to get everyone in America connected as inexpensively, and as quickly, as possible. You need to keep up to date on both the existing and upcoming programs. The #1 source of this information is, so be sure to bookmark the site and check back often. You can also keep updated on any important news by following us on Facebook or subscribing to our free email updates.

We’re here for you. And, please, tell your friends about us so that they to can get the broadband they need in today’s world.


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  1. WENDY C. YOUNG says


  2. Athia begum says

    I need help because my husband is heard problem. i have three kids they are going to school. they needs internet for has homework. i have food stamp (SNAP)card and Medicaid. plz help me for free internet program.

  3. Paul Shapiro says

    What telephone and high speed internet options are available for
    a 69 year old senior living alone?

  4. carmia says

    i am also disabled with a zero income and would like to know how do i also qualify for free cable, internet and home phn service. could you please guide me in the right direction, i saw a article about president obama and google fiber but i do not know where to apply.

  5. carmia says

    i leave in kansas city kansas, how do i know if i qualify for the new free google fiber internet service that president obama just signed off on?

  6. Carolyn Price says

    Need help getting a low income cable tv and internet program. Age 72 and can’t get a reasonably priced program I can afford. My phone company in my area is CenturyLink. If I could qualify I receive energy assistance and food stamps and Medicaid help. Please help.

  7. Јоѕh says

    Му nаmе іѕ Јоѕh. І аm а fоrmеr mаrіnе, 74-уеаrѕ оld, rеѕіdе іn Ваltіmоrе, МD. Му wіfе раѕѕеd аwау twо уеаrѕ аgо аnd оur оnlу сhіld аnd hеr huѕbаnd dіеd іn а саr сrаѕh ѕhоrtlу аftеr thеіr wеddіng. І ѕtіll nееd tо рау mаnу dеbtѕ аnd thаnkѕ tо Мr. Оbаmа іѕ саѕh-ѕtrарреd. Іѕ thеrе аnу frее оr сhеар fаѕt Іntеrnеt ассеѕѕ іn mу аrеа? Evеrуthіng І ѕее іѕ $6О оr mоrе реr mоnth. І uѕеd tо gо tо а рublіс lіbrаrу fоr thе Іntеrnеt, but nоw mу hеаlth јuѕt dоеѕ nоt реrmіt thаt.

    • Administrator says

      Thank you for your service, Josh. If it were up to us every single veteran would get cheap or free internet. Unfortunately, you’ll have to check with each provider that we have to check on the local availability. We’re working on a page for each state, and we’re almost up to Maryland. That should be very soon, and perhaps it might help.

  8. Ann says

    You need a link for Seniors who qualify. Trying to figure out if all these companies you list take people without kids is confusing. At least put NO KIDS QUALIFIES in bold to it is easy to see on the page.

    So the question is, What Companies people without kids?

  9. doug wilcox says

    you are offering free downloads music on your phones and i have not received it yet ,its been 48 hours ,,,whats up !!!!pls help…??

  10. Marsha gamez says

    Plz help me .back in April I call to get lifeline cuz I was on welfair . She said they had a great deal homeliness,cable cellphone internet unlimited for under $70.00 a mo she lied all together with out internet cuz I didn’t have a computer.bill was around 400$. Plz help me .

  11. EstherDoyle says

    Iam on dial-up now and can not get on the internet at most times I would love to have High Speed Inas soon as possible. I am 73 andneed to keep in touch with my family..

  12. VJust Me says

    I have a free cell phone from assurance wireless , I however would prefer to have the discount on my home phone.. Can i keep my cell phone if i already pay the unlimited monthly price for the cell each month.

  13. Don says

    I can’t believe you guys still recommend Freedompop this company is not a cheap internet service. after spending $107.00 and some change and also switching internet providers I used them for one day and used half of the service they offered it didn’t take me long to learn that I needed to cancel there service. You read there Forum page and it all looks good and then you try to post a comment on there and if it is something they don’t like you never see it. So people if you are reading this Freedompop is very misleading. Thanks from Don

  14. angela says

    trying to see if we qualify for cheap internet. My brother is on food stamps. I can’t get past the Captcha question! How else can we communicate with you?????