Low Income Internet Service Providers

Cheap broadband internet plans have been created by public-private partnerships, to bring high-speed, wireless 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]


VTX1 is another one of those community-minded cable companies that participates in the EveryoneOn/Connect2Compete coalition. That means they offer high speed, low-cost internet access to low income residents of the areas they serve in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Available to students and families that qualify for the National School Lunch Program, it’s a little higher priced at $14.95 but still lower than regular cable… [click to continue]


Suddenlink also participates in the EveryoneOn/Connect2Compete coalition to offer high speed, low-cost cable internet access to low income residents of the areas they serve in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The program is available to families who have a child who could qualify for… [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.



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  1. Norma Jean (jeannie wilson) Wilson says

    Hi .WE are old I my phone bill and internet was to high for me to keep .. I was approved for a cheaper home phone .I would love to keep my internet if possible..Please help me anyway you can ..I need it cheap .thank you very much ..

  2. yolanda says

    please help me get internet for low income families i have a son who is 13 and he really could use the internet for school and his homework. he has a tough time asking for help . i need help applying i do recieve foodstamps and medicaid. if at all possible a home ph would help also. thank u for your help. yolanda

  3. Seyed says

    Please help I am retired and live with my wife in a low income retirement house. We are I desperate need for internet as my wife and I relay on internet to keep in touch with my family who live outside USA. We also keep in touch with the daily news via internet. Please let us know how we could qualify.


  4. christie&Tim says

    In North Ga trying to find a low income internet service for my son. Due to limited disabilities he has to be home. Please help! All info greatly appreciated!

  5. Joe says

    Hi please help us !
    I’m retired because of medical problems and living on fixed income ! My girlfriend had her hours cut ! Her daughter does homeschool and needs the internet everyday ! We currently have cable with Internet but we are struggling with the high price ! Please help ! Thanks ! Joe

  6. Monica says

    I really appreciate how cox is providing these low income services for the community. I am a single mother of three and a grandma as well. I support my kids in all they can achieve and to get low cost Internet would be a big help in my house hold. I am moving into my first home on my own and if I can get low payments on this service would be a great help. Thank you

  7. Nicole says

    Hi,please I need Internet for my daughter to do her home work, and I can’t eford to have the high payment. Please help me

  8. veronica says

    I need low-cost internet service Asap my credit is a problem im on a fixed income raising grandchildren who need touse the intrenet daily. I have no diwn payment. Please help if you can.

  9. steve says

    Id like to have internet
    Im under grh and on cash and food assistance and cant afford to go thru reg companies to have tv and lap top and phone id like to have an unlinited plan so no extra cost. If you have somthing like this let me know thanks.

  10. chanchal says

    hi I am trying to get low income internet life line senior citizen program please let me know which service will be available please email.me

  11. LeRoy Charles Bertsch says

    I am inquiring about the low income internet program. I am out of work because of congestive heart failure I do owe you money but I have no way of paying it my 5 children 3 in high school need the internet I am now with century link and their cost is going to be too high. Is it possible at all to ask for a waiver?

  12. Obed Jean-Marie says

    i Leave in Florida but the area that i rent my apartment have their own cable and internet company i am on limited budget. We had internet service with AT&T but they over charge us every month that doesn’t work I’am looking for low price on internet that will let us stream. And the price will not go up. cause my wife she is in School now she needed for research paper please me please.

  13. Scott says

    What if you live in an area that doesn’t have a cable company/ phone company that does not have service in your area? Our only options are satellite, which is far too expensive.

  14. Gerald DiPaolo says

    I am on a limited budget I have a disability and a little girl that loves Sesame street. I’m looking for low price on internet that will let us stream. And the price will not go up.

  15. william & Nancy Hess says

    We live at **** english circle, willow spring nc. 27592
    we are seniors using cell only phones, but have internet data shared program with our
    healthcare provider which is new but working well so far . The problem is our internet
    provider now (Century link) just took an increase for thier service and router. They provide
    only internet to us. We both are living on Social Security income alone as all our investments crashed and former employers either went broke or closed. We are still
    paying a mortgage every month along with med insurance medicare addons. One
    of us has serious heart issues requiring expense meds not all covered. The rising utilities
    really has us strapped. The service we have now is very good but just can’t afford! Our
    children all live in the North and this is our means to communicate. It’s wonderful and removes some of the loneliness brought on living in warmer climate necessary for health reasons, being able to communicate in todays world keeps you young in spirit if not
    in body. Thank you in advance for your prompt consideration.

  16. J G Mc Laren says

    What if you’re not considered low income?. What if you work 3 jobs to make ends meet and are just being nickeled and dimed to death?

  17. Penny Lewin says

    I am a senior low income 70 yrs, living on a fixed SS income, I have been paying 35.00 a month
    for just internet with AT&T, and they have just raised my bill to 54.00! I cannot pay these prices for
    wireless internet, I do not have a phone line, I have Magic Jack to have an affordable phone, which
    of course is dependent on my internet! I know that many seniors are in the same No-win situation,
    what can we do!!!! Please help, I am ready to cancel my internet altogether! I use the internet to
    correspond with friends and family, research, study and am also an online missionary, so I really
    don’t want to have no access to the internet! I have been paying my bill faithfully, but am fed up
    with the exorbitant prices, I have worked all my life, and now find myself very much hampered be-
    of my “low income status”.