Connect2Compete Internet Program
for Low Income Americans

Connect2compete (often written incorrectly as Connect to Compete) is one of those rare organizations formed by a combination of private companies and non-profit organizations.

Its goal is easier said than done: To bring high speed internet, low-priced computers and digital literacy to low income communities across the United States in order to improve lives in those communities. They do this by connecting either a) low-income families who have a child in school, or b) anyone living in any of the over 14,000 zip codes where the annual median income is under $35,000, with internet companies willing to give them a special deal. (Also under the Connect2Compete umbrella, Cox Cable has expanded it’s eligibility to include participants of SNAP and TANF.)

The program has made a lot of news, getting much attention and many of America’s best known cable companies and assortment of other internet companies have partnered up with the program.

Connect2Compete helps you find low cost monthly broadband internet access. Plus a low cost computer for your home. And very low-cost computer training classes. That’s a combination that lower income, struggling Americans can really use these days.

An internet connection will make it easier for you to apply for better jobs and also make it easier for your kids to excel in school. And that, in a nutshell, is the whole idea behind Connect2Compete.

Let’s take a look at what Connect2Compete has to offer:

Cheap internet access

Connect2Compete is great news for low-income families and individuals who desperately need less expensive, more cheap internet. Not slow dial-up, but high-speed internet access at unbeatable prices. Check out all you get:

  • Internet service mostly under $10, with a couple outliers sightly higher; and there’s also a free plan from partner FreedomPop
  • Program lasts for two years (and you can apply any time in the next three years)
  • Minimum of 1 Mbps minimum speed (If you’re not fluent in tech jargon, 1 Mbps is fast even that pages pop up on your screen almost immediately and you’ll be able to watch videos.)

Cheap PCs, too

If you think cheap internet service is a great deal, wait until you see what else this program offers. One of the following will be available to you:

Refurbished Redemtech computers from just $150

The price is so low you may be shocked, but we guarantee you’ll be even more shocked to learn that these computers also come loaded with the kind of software you and your kids will need most. Specifically, here’s what you get:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Office
  • 90-day tech support
  • Pre-loaded educational and career content
  • Free shipping

$250 PCs from Microsoft

Microsoft, one of the biggest names in the high tech world, is also a partner in Connect2Compete. It’s offering personal computers for just $250. Here’s what it includes:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Office

One more benefit: Cheap computer classes

The simple fact is, a personal computer and internet access won’t help you very much if you don’t know how to use a computer. It’s like having someone give you a car, but no driving lessons.

So the Best Buy Geek Squad’s contribution is to offer basic digital literacy training sessions in 20 major cities around the country. But they don’t stop there. The Geek Squad will work with community non-profits to train them how to train additional people.

Finally, industry leader Microsoft has agreed to build an online digital literacy training center for people who live in smaller cities that aren’t large enough for in-person digital literacy classes. And that’s just the beginning. Microsoft will also offer valuable Microsoft Certification training sessions in 15 states. These certifications, normally quite expensive, can help you land a job or improve your career.

What else? Plenty.

Qualified participants will also get free access to Discovery Education’s “premier educational content.”

And CareerBuilder.com will offer online prep and certification classes for just $1 per course. And, of course, additional jobs and education content will be offered on an ongoing basis. In other words, the program starts with more than you could have hoped for and grows rapidly from there.

Connect2Compete Eligibility: Do you qualify?

The bad news on a national level is that millions of Americans, maybe even tens of millions of Americans are eligible for this program because of our devasted and barely recovering economy.

But the good news – on a personal level – is that you may well qualify for Connect2Compete and live in an area that one of their partners servces.

There are two ways you can qualify for this inexpensive internet access.

  1. your household must (a) have at least one student enrolled in the Free School Lunch Program (Cox now allows SNAP and TANF participants); (b) not be a current subscriber to the broadband service (or have subscribed in the last 90 days) you are enrolling with; and (c) not have an overdue bill or unreturned equipment to the participating service provider.
  2. Reside in any of over 14,000 zip codes that have a median household income level of $35,000 or less. No matter your income or other eligibility.

Which eligibility rule is applied depends upon which internet service plan you are trying to get. But in a nutshell, the three wireless internet companies — FreedomPop, Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen — are all based upon the zip code, and in general, the rest are based upon the School Lunch program criteria.

The companies that participate to provide broadband access are Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast (Internet Essentials), Cox Communications, Mediacom, Midcontinent, Mobile Citizen, Mobile Beacon, and VTX 1 and Wilco.

Connect2Compete Internet Service Providers
Provider Detail Eligibility
FreedomPop
  • 1GB Data: FREE (Clearwire network)
  • Equipment Fee: $49 + shipping
  • No Set Up Fee
  • Overage at $0.01 per MB.
  • Live in a pre-qualified FreedomPop zip code
FreedomPop Option2
  • 300MB Data: Free / 2GB Data: $19.95/month (Sprint network)
  • Equipment Fee: $29.95 + shipping
  • No Set Up Fee
  • Overage at $0.01 per MB.
  • Live in a pre-qualified FreedomPop zip code
Mobile Beacon
  • Unlimited Data: $10/month
  • Equipment Fee: $73 + shipping
  • Live in a pre-qualified MobileBeacon zip code
Mobile Citizen
  • Unlimited Data: $10/month
  • Equipment Fee: $73 + shipping
  • Live in a pre-qualified Mobile Citizen zip code
Comcast (Internet Essentials)
(more info)
  • Unlimited Data: $9.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • No Price Increases
  • Live in Comcast Internet coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free or reduced school lunch through the National School Lunch Program
  • No Comcast Internet subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to Comcast
  • No unreturned Comcast equipment
  • Additional Restrictions May Apply
VTX 1
(more info)
  • Unlimited Data: $14.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • No Price Increases
  • Live in VTX Internet coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free or reduced school lunch through the National School Lunch Program
  • No VTX Internet subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to VTX
  • No unreturned VTX equipment
COX
(more info)
  • 100GB Data: $9.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • Live in Cox Internet coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free school lunch through the National School Lunch Program
  • No Cox Internet subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to Cox
  • No unreturned Cox equipment
  • Additional Restrictions May Apply
Wilco
  • Unlimited Data: $14.95/month
  • Set Up Fee: $14.95 One Time
  • No Equipment Fee
  • Only for Philadelphia Residents
Bright House Internet
(more info)
  • Unlimited Data: $9.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • Live in Bright House Networks Internet coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free school lunch and is attending a Connect2Compete Partner School
  • No Bright House Networks subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to Bright House Networks
  • No unreturned Bright House Networks equipment
  • Additional Restrictions May Apply
Mediacom
(more info)
  • 150GB Data: $9.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • Live in Mediacom coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free school lunch and is attending a Connect2Compete Partner School
  • No Mediacom subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to Mediacom
  • No unreturned Mediacom equipment
  • Additional Restrictions May Apply
Suddenlink
(more info)
  • 150GB Data: $9.95/month
  • No Set Up Fee
  • No Equipment Fee
  • Live in Suddenlink coverage area
  • Child eligible to receive free school lunch and is attending a Connect2Compete Partner School
  • No Suddenlink subscription in past 90 days
  • No overdue payments to Suddenlink
  • No unreturned Suddenlink equipment
  • Additional Restrictions May Apply

If you are interested in Comcast’s Internet Essentials plan offered through Connect2Compete, you can also go directly to their offer page. There is no difference in price by doing so.

The other programs listed above require you to begin at the the EveryoneOn.org site, which hosts the Connect2Compete program. While you can go directly to FreedomPop, you won’t find the same deal and you’ll pay considerably more.

If Connect2Compete doesn’t work for you, the good news is that if you are in an area that offers CenturyLink DSL service, you can participate in their similar plan called Internet Basics. In fact, this plan offer internet service to a broader spectrum of low income Americans: not just those with a child on the National Free School Lunch Program or one in a certain zip code, but to those on any one of a number of government assistance programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI and others.

How to Apply to Connect2Compete

Contact Information

Connect2Compete at Everyoneon.org:
Website: Everyone On
Phone: 800-446-2031

Schools with participating C2C internet providers in their area should be handing out flyers to the kids. The flyer will have a “Connect2Compete Offer Code” on it (or perhaps the school gave out the code in another way), which you will use when applying for the program at the program’s site, EveryoneOn.org. On that site, you can both apply and go back to check your application status.

Recent Articles we’ve published on Connect2Compete

netbook low income How you can get a PC (and a lot more) for just $149 if you are low-income - If you’re a low-income American, you can now get a PC that’s completely loaded with all the top software plus computer training for just $149.
get internet without c2c How to get cheap internet even if you don’t qualify for Connect2Compete - Connect2Compete has worked out a deal with a company called Freedom Pop to offer a internet access to those people who can’t find affordable internet access anywhere else.
more people Connect2Compete’s make more people eligible for cheap internet (despite confusing new rules) - The good news is that Connect2Compete has introduced new rules that make more people eligible for cheap internet, cheap computers, and digital literacy training. The bad news is that the 64 words that outline those new rules are almost incomprehensible.
c2c public service announcement New Connect2Compete public service announcement: We review it. - We’ve eagerly awaited the day that Connect2Compete and the AdCouncil break their long-promised campaign to promote nationwide cheap internet for America’s needy.
digital literacy Connect2Compete to launch nationwide (almost) digital literacy training program - If you haven’t yet heard of Connect2Compete, you’ll be hearing plenty about it in the coming months.
usa map internet Here comes Connect2Compete: Cheap internet program ready to roll out nationally - After successfully completing a series of test programs around the country, Connect2Compete will launch nationally on March 21 in order to bring inexpensive digital opportunities to all low-income Americans.
feds promote broadband Feds join coalition to promote cheap government internet program - Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski and Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan have announced that HUD is adding its support to Connect2Compete
Ending the digital divide ends poverty: Bringing cheap internet to America’s low income Hispanic kids - The FCC believes helping Latinos adopting broadband at much higher levels which will lead directly to better educations, better healthcare, and lower poverty rates.
New ad campaign to promote government’s cheap internet program, Connect to Compete - Connect to Compete's ad campaign beginning in January, 2013 will alert tens of millions of needy Americans that they can receive cheap internet and a cheap computer.
FCC sponsors $25 million contest to help low income Americans get cheap internet - The FCC will use $25 million it saved eliminating fraud and waste from the free government cell phone program and use to pick pilot programs that can best give cheap internet to low income Americans.

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Comments

  1. james ellis says

    Compared to other companies, it seems that Connect2Compete is the exception regarding eligibility if you don’t have a child or student? Can you confirm this.
    ( I receive SSi/SSDI.)

    thank you

  2. Stephanie says

    We were SUPER excited that we were going to be able to have high speed internet in our house. Sadly no, like always due to the area of where i live (5 miles outside to a small town called arvin) Brighthouse Network doesn’t see this area as a priority for services. I guess my two kids will get left behind. I remember seeing something about t-mobile joining in, is there any truth to that?

  3. Ruben S. Guerrero says

    I worked hard since I came to live here, with my family due to the War in El Salvador. I wanted to study but I have to have two jobs and my wife also, so we give support to our children. They marry but due to the increase in Rent, I was not able to quit working, because the SSS only give me money to cuasi pay the Rent. But due to Diabetes cause by broken shifts and complicatyions I had to quit. My wife has Alzheimer, so she can not work anymore. So I was looking for cheap Internet but sadly the requirements are to have at least a child that qualify for free schol lunch. I don’t have children anymore. The posting about it say that mayby Connect 2 compete at Everyoneon.org. could help. I didn’t check that jet, but I don’t want to be happy jet until I am sure they really help, because many many posting are missleading.

  4. J Custer says

    This is pathetic and sad to the point it’s comical. I’ve been reading emails for years in hope for a chance of assistance. Having a spinal disability and given a lap top my neighbor was throwing away (only 1/3 of screen is readable). I got Verizons lowest speed/price (.5 Mbps) for $15.00 per month which was affordable. Several years later the price is now double. I guess my choice is to drag my crippled butt back to the library like before, pain be damned. No school age children, no internet assistance for us. Regardless of how low income is or need.

  5. C.singh says

    We are low income and we are looking for any free internet service.If any body has free internet service give me shot.
    Thank you

  6. sandra ross says

    I am 65 and retired living on 19000 a year. My internet keeps going up. I want to find a cheaper company that is still fast and relyable. I am going to cancel my land line service to. Is there something avaible for me.

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