Cheap broadband internet plans have been created by public-private partnerships, to bring high-speed internet access to those who cannot afford typical expensive plans.
There are two primary “competing” low-income internet service programs designed for financially-struggling Americans – Comcast’s Internet Essentials and CenturyLink’s Internet Basics. In addition, Connect2Compete may help in finding low-income internet service, but is best for finding training. We’ve also added an interesting national pilot program we’re calling Lifeline Internet and one in California called School2Home. If you qualify, these low-income internet service providers can help you get online, with broadband internet speeds for a very, very low monthly rate.
“I was laid off a few months ago so money’s tight around our house,” said Larry J of Fort Pierce, Florida. “This low cost internet plan is going to make it easier for me to find another job.”
“My kids are falling behind in school because we can’t afford expensive internet access,” said Muriel S of Bend, Oregon. “Affordable broadband is going to be a lifesaver.”
“Affordable internet is the best idea since … well … it may be the best idea ever,” said Bruce C of Costa Mesa, California. “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”
That’s where these programs come in. If you’re in financial distress, you’ll probably qualify for one of these cheap internet plans in your area.
The prices are the same for all three services, but there some differences in what each program offers consumers and eligibility requirements. Make sure you check to determine which programs are available where you live.
Comcast, the cable TV giant, is also getting into the low-income internet assistance business with a program called Internet Essentials. This is very good news.
If you live in areas of the country served by Comcast and if you qualify, you can now get Internet Essentials for just $9.95 per month instead of the $40–60 the company charges for its lowest cost basic plan. Despite the low price, you’ll get blazing fast 5.0 Mbps download speed, the option to purchase a computer for $150, plus a series of extras such as … [click to continue]
CenturyLink’s Internet Basics is exactly what so many families and individuals need to help them search for and apply for jobs, to follow up on job applications, to find medical care and communicate with their doctors, to help their kids with their homework, and to help them with so many other tasks that can only be done on the internet.
CenturyLink’s Internet Basics costs just $9.95 per month for qualifying low-income families. You’ll also be eligible to receive a personal computer for just $150 and … [click to continue]
Many of the nation’s largest internet service companies are working with Connect2Compete to bring low-cost, high-speed internet service to low-income Americans. The Connect2Compete organization hooks up Americans with various companies that will provide high-speed internet access for under $15 a month, usually under $10. In addition, they can help you find a low-cost computer and free computer and internet training … [click to continue]
The following programs are national, or have a big push behind them either by industry, government and non-profit, than do those smaller or regional programs in the next section.
On January 31, 2012 the Federal Communications Commission approved Lifeline Internet, a major expansion of the government’s popular free cell phone program, to include broadband Internet service. Lifeline Internet is currently in a $30 million pilot program, slated to end in 2013. Our Lifeline Internet page shows the status of the various programs in 21 states and Puerto Rico.
Although cell phones and service are free under the Lifeline plan, Lifeline Internet will could cost up to $9.95 per month, but then again, no one is certain yet — it’s possible there might be no cost. The eligibility requirements should be the same as for the Lifeline free cell phones program: either be under a certain income level or already participate in a government assistance program such as … [click to continue].
Through no fault of their own, many seniors can’t afford even the most necessary of things, like a broadband internet connection. Yes, being connected to the internet is necessary in today’s world.
So many needy seniors have contacted us asking about asking why the government and various companies seemingly help everyone but them. Just where is cheap internet for seniors … [click to continue]
Here we list programs that are smaller than those national programs listed above.
School2Home has set an ambitious goal: To give computers to more than 500 low-performing middle schools and 400,000 students across California. It’s a pilot program started in Southern California’s Los Angeles and Riverside county school districts and has now expanded to Northern California’s Oakland Unified School District. In the future … [click to continue]
Knology is unique in that it’s been offering some residents in Kansas absolutely free broadband internet, without even being reimbursed by any government programs. No one twisted their arm, they just decided to do it to help the poor in Kansas cross the digital divide and … [click to continue]
Interconnection now offers needy Washingtonians a variety of low-priced services: High speed mobile internet for just $8 per month or internet service only for $10 per month, plus a laptop computer for just $149 … [click to continue]
Low-Income Internet, by state
Here’s a handy table that will help you to narrow down what internet programs are available in each state. As you can see, at the moment it is primarily Internet Basics and Internet Essentials that serve most states. Connect2Competeis set to roll out in force in Fall 2012, and Lifeline Internet is only in a pilot program now. And then there are Knology and School2Home, which only serve one state each at this time. We’ll keep this table updated as things change.
IE: Internet Essentials
IB: Internet Basics
C2C: Connect2Compete (almost available)
LI: Lifeline Intenet (in pilot program only)