Low Income Internet Service Providers

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 several major, “competing” low-income internet service programs designed for financially-struggling Americans – Comcast’s Internet Essentials, CenturyLink’s Internet Basics, and Cox and Bright House Networks’ low income internet plans. In addition, Connect2Compete’s site may help in finding low-income internet service, although it is best suited for finding training. We’ve also added an interesting national pilot program we’re calling Lifeline Internet, as well as a few regional programs.

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 and no contract hassles.

“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 low-income internet plans in your area.

The prices are the same for all these services, but there some differences in what each program offers consumers and in the eligibility requirements. Make sure you check to determine which programs are available where you live.

Major Programs

Internet Essentials

Comcast, the cable TV giant, is the biggest player in 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]

Cox Low-Income Internet

Cox Communications is one of the nation’s largest cable companies, with millions of subscribers. While they don’t trumpet their program as loudly as Comcast does theirs, and their coverage across the country isn’t as extensive, their low-income program has much broader eligibility rules.

Cox’s low-income internet plan will give you unlimited cable internet at broadband speeds of 5 Mbps download, no contract or extra fees, and the option to purchase a computer for $150. It’s available to Americans who… [click to continue]

Internet Basics

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]

Mediacom Low-Income Internet

In 23 states, Connect2Compete partner Mediacom offers high-speed internet service for just $9.95 to families who are struggling with low household income.

Their internet plan provides a 1.5 Mbps speed cable connection, and an option to be able to purchase a computer for as low as $162 and a tablet for as low as $142. Eligibility requires… [click to continue]

Bright House Networks Low-Income Internet

Bright House Networks is the sixth largest cable company, with about 2.5 million customers. Under the Connect2Compete banner, they offer internet service to people who could otherwise not afford it.

Bright House’s low-income internet plan provides unlimited cable internet at speeds of a minimum of 1 Mbps download. While that’s not exactly super fast, it’s certainly fast enough for $9.95. And there are no contracts or extra charges. Additionally, they offer an option to purchase a computer for $150. Availability is… [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.

Lifeline Internet

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].

Senior Internet Service

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]

Other Programs

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 Lifeline Internet

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 (WA only)

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, Internet Basics and Internet Essentials serve the most states. (This table is in the process of being updated…)


IE: Internet Essentials
IB: Internet Basics
COX: Cox Cable
BHN: Bright House Networks
MC: Mediacom
C2C: Connect2Compete
LI: Lifeline Internet (in pilot program only)

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC
West Virginia

We hope you’ve found that one of the cheap internet plans work for you.


Need help understanding what’s available for you? Read our help page.




  1. sandee Brock says

    amazing! This sounds like an excellent service,thanks blessing ,and

    have a jolly good day! Regards, sandee Brock

  2. Mariah says

    It looks like Virginia has “IE: Internet Essentials
    IB: Internet Basics”

    For Internet Essentials visit internetessentials.com, but you’ll have to do the research yourself on the other one. Good luck!

  3. Mariah says

    You will need to contact each program/company directly. For Internet Essentials – that is provided through Comcast and you must contact them or go to internetessentials.com
    For Lifeline, again you must contact them directly or visit their site at http://www.fcc.gov/lifeline

    These are the only two I’m familiar with. Good luck!

  4. Francis Edwards says

    I am on a fix income and need some low internet, some of the internet company r so high here in Illinois. So if you can help me I would apperticated it.

  5. jessica says

    I need help iI just lost and am trying to go through school online and I need a cheap internet service as soon as possible

  6. Benjamin says

    I’m disabled & get S.S. & SSI. I have a family of 5 & get a whopping 760.00 a month to survive on-that’s it! I see one guy begging for help & he’s alone & getting over 1,300.00 a month. Anways, just how hard do you think I have it?
    I live in Louisiana & it’s very hot- I can barely afford the light bill. In fact I keep getting disconnect notices every single month.
    Is there anyone who knows of a way to get cheap internet or anything at all-any help at all for me?

    Thanks & Good luck with all!

    • Benjamin says

      We live in the number 1 state for everything bad! AIDS,murder,teen pregnancy, school drop-outs,etc. On & ON!!! Corruption of course! Jindal closes many hospitals & now thousands of mentally ill are now in prison,wondering the streets-homeless,etc. He (or the Gov) has changed medicaid- Now for the last 2 years I know a girl who’s been needing a neurologist,neurosurgeon or even just a plain old bone specialist to help her & she can’t find a single one! She broke her C-1 & she’s still walking (True Miracle) but she’s slowly going paralyzed,she’s now applying for disability & she will 100% get it! If she would have been better looked after, she would not have levo scoliosis,Deg. Disc diseaes, ON & ON & ON!!!! Seems stupid to not have “numerous” patients looked after better so they would not become in such bad shape- Now disability? Tens of thousands lost & never a wage earner again- So a double whammy!

      Hughesnet is one of the highest costing providers & in the swamps that’s all that works in most places or sometimes!! Starting at around 65-75 a month! They don’t want their money to be dropped any!!!

  7. Don says

    I tried one of your cheap internet services you recommend. It was Freedompop you guys did not check into this place very good. I had it one day and used over half of my service. The next day I canceled it and had to have my old internet service restored. So just to let everyone out there know that this all sounds good until you get some one else or one of these service you get what you pay for. And sometimes cheap is always not cheaper. Thanks from Don for reading.

  8. Terry says

    I am trying to help a family from church. The husband is on MediCal (which I believe is the California equivalent of the federal MediCaid). They need unlimited service because they have two kids in school who use the Internet quite a bit for their projects and papers, playing games with friends and downloading music and watching videos, which is the norm for kids today.

    The mom told me that they don’t qualify for the national school lunch program, although they are low-income by anyone’s standards, especially in Silicon Valley. Because the husband is on MediCal, they should be able to qualify for Century Link’s Internet Basics program; however, Century Link does not appear to be available in California.

    Any other ideas that is not freedompop? The freedompop service realistically is only workable for people who rarely go online or are very light users. If there is more than one person accessing the Internet or if there is one person who is online several hours every day, the GB usage would escalate exponentially and they could end up with a shocker bill of upwards of $60 per month (with an estimate web page usage of 3 MB per page).


    • Don says

      Terry I wish I would have read these comments before I tried Freedompop it would have save me a lot of headaches. I paid $107.00 and some change and now I am waiting to get my money back.

  9. Terry says

    The above states: “Here’s a handy table that will help you to narrow down what internet programs are available in each state.”

    Please note that there is no table visible.


  10. Adrianna says

    I need help!!!! PLZ … everything it lists that work for California says i dont have coverage in my area.. i thought i was signing up for the basic or the other ones listed but i ended up with c2c freedompop and its too slow for my daughters homeschool lessons online… please help me figure out where i can get faster wifi in san bernardino county.. yucca valley ca 92284

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