Lifeline Internet: A welcome addition to the Lifeline phone program

Your selection of cheap internet options may get much broader. On January 31, 2012 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved what we call Lifeline Internet, a major expansion of the popular government’s free cell phone program. A year later in January 2013, as the FCC issued cost-saving reforms for the fraud-ridden Lifeline free cell phone program, they took part of those savings and created the Broadband Pilot Program in order to test how the best way to give free or heavily discounted internet to low-income Americans.

Lifeline is the granddaddy of government programs designed to bring state-of-the-art communications tools to low income Americans. The program was originally designed to offer affordable rates on landline telephones. It was expanded to include cell phones in 1996 and the number of users has grown dramatically each year. In February 2012, Time Magazine estimated that 12.5 million people now participate in the Lifeline free cell phone program. It’s likely closer to 15 million now.

Lifeline Internet is on the way

But cell phones can’t provide all the help people need so much these days. What the financially-strapped in this country need most is high-speed broadband — to help them search for jobs, find services and especially to help their kids do well in school. The FCC commissioners have come to the same, obvious conclusion that we reached long ago: Internet access has grown so important, and yet so expensive, that Lifeline should be expanded to include internet access. So, savings from the Lifeline reforms will help to pay for an expansion into offering broadband to low-income people.

Details are still being worked out by the FCC, with a $13.8 million dollar pilot program running in 21 states and Puerto Rico. They are testing a myriad of offers to see to which plan people best respond. Lucky participants have been chosen from current Lifeline phone participants in the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, plus Puerto Rico.

It’s hard to say exactly what the plan cost or offer at this time. All sort of combinations of pricing, speed, equipment and training offers are being experimented with in 2013, with both DSL, cable and mobile Internet. Among them:

  • In Alabama, Troy Cablevision is offering a $14 and a $28 subsidy off a wireline broadband plan. Cable Internet.
  • In Arizona, Gila River is testing subsidy amounts ($23.24 to $38.24), access to discounted equipment and broadband speeds. DSL.
  • In California, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada and New Jersey. Nexus is testing subsidies of $0, $15 and $20, with varying speeds. Mobile Internet.
  • In Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, TracFone, is testing the effect of varying combinations of free or discounted hardware and $10 or $20 per month service. Mobile Internet.
  • In Illinois, a consortium of telephone companies are testing a $30 flat rate subsidy for 12 months, with price based on speed, as well as intensive digital literacy training being included or not. DSL.
  • In Iowa, (Alpine Communications) and New Mexico (Leaco Rural Telephone) companies are testing a range of wireline broadband plans in one state with a flat subsidy amount of $25 per month, and a range of wireline broadband plans in another state with a sliding scale subsidy. DSL.
  • In New York, XChange is offering digital literacy to seniors, and is testing a range of subsidy amounts of $10, $15 and $20, by randomizing three different broadband plans priced at $4.99, $9.99 and $19.99. DSL and Fixed-Wireless.
  • In Ohio and West Virginia, Frontier is testing an offer of a $20 monthly subsidy in a range of plans, an offer with mandatory digital literacy participation with a $30 subsidy, and an offer of a $20 subsidy and a free computer. DSL.
  • In Puerto Rico, PR Wireless is testing a $25 monthly subsidy off five different plans that have access to varying types of equipment, from modems to computers. Mobile Internet.
  • In Vermont, Vermont Telephone is testing two different wireline broadband plans: one with a uniform $9.95 cost for 12 months; the second at $9.95 for the first three months, followed by a $14.95 for the remaining 9 months. DSL.

Note in how many states you see Tracfone and Nexus? Tracfone owns Safelink Wireless and Nexus owns ReachOut Wireless, two of the three biggest free government cell phone (Lifeline) companies. I think it’s safe to say that while they are testing DSL, cable and mobile internet, given the power of Tracfone and Nexus, and their established connection with the FCC, the upcoming Lifeline Internet will be mobile Internet, or at least primarily so.

How will you qualify for Lifeline Internet?

Although no official guidelines have yet been established, it is assumed that the requirements for Lifeline Internet will be identical to the requirements for the Lifeline phone program.

There are many ways to qualify for Lifeline and you will probably be eligible if:

(1) You currently participate in some other federal, state or local
assistance programs such as food stamps (SNAP), public housing, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income, various Home Energy Assistance Programs, National School Lunch and other programs.

or if…

(2) Your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. (More good news: Residents of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas can qualify with household incomes all the way up to 150% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.)

How much will Lifeline Internet cost?

There is no word on the charge to users, if any, for this potential new program. The current Lifeline cell phone program is free, but then offering cell phone service on very cheap cell phones is considerably less expensive than offering mobile Internet on smartphones like Androids. It all depends upon how much the FCC is willing to reimburse the providers.

Our guess is that a very basic plan will be anywhere from free to $9.95 a month, for unlimited phone and text, and maybe 1 to 2 GB of data usage a month. But that’s only a guess.

When will Lifeline Internet be available?

Like we said, the FCC just recently approved Lifeline Internet and they are in the midst of the Broadband Pilot Program to see which plan is most favored by participants in the study. When they determine that, unless congress gets in the way, we assume it will begin to be rolled out shortly thereafter. Since they are testing both DSL and Mobile Internet, and Lifeline already covers both landline telephone (upon which DSL is based) and cell phones (upon which Mobile Internet is based), it may be an an effortless transition.

In the mean time, you’ve got two other similar options if you qualify according to the requirements above: Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and CenturyLink’s Internet Basics program.

If you are having a hard time understanding all the various programs (we know it’s confusing!), please read our help page.

Check back frequently, because we’ll continue to update this exciting news for low-income Americans. In fact, subscribe to our news updates to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Recent Articles we’ve published on Lifeline Internet

Lifeline Broadband 2014 A BOLD PREDICTION: Lifeline Broadband will be here by the end of 2014 - We predict that a nationwide roll-out of Lifeline Broadband (Lifeline Internet) will be announced before the end of 2014. Plus, five other details.
FCC logo FCC and Congress helping low income Americans get high-speed internet - FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn and Rep. Doris Matsui recently joined forces to promote affordable high speed internet service for needy Americans.
free government internet phone Coming Soon!
Free Government Internet Phones
- In the noble quest to bridge the digital divide and get all Americans online, the FCC will be soon expanding the Lifeline program to provide internet-enabled smartphones that come with a mobile internet
free internet sign Is this the beginning of free government internet? - This is a pilot program that will fir the first ti,e provide low income Americans with smart phones with which they can access the internet.
FCC finally approves “Lifeline” internet for America’s needy - It seems like they’ve been looking into it, studying it, debating it, and arguing about it for years. But the Federal Communications Commission last Tuesday finally did what we’ve been urging it to do for many months –- it approved an affordable internet-for-the-poor program similar to Lifeline, its existing free government cell phone program. To […]
FCC Chairman proposes free internet service for low-income Americans - FCC Chairman Genachowski wants to expand the Lifeline free government cell phone program to low-income Americans, to include broadband service.


  1. Tomeka Mathis says

    What is the information (website/contact number/company) for residents in AR and TX to qualify for free internet?

  2. shelli powell says

    I can’t afford the internet they have out here I want 2go back 2school and internet is 2expensive

  3. joe santos says

    i already have a lifeline phone service would it matter if i wanted lifeline internet as well PS. thank you for a response

      • Deborah Kellis says

        I had the same question but your answer does not clarify for me. Does this mean that you can have a lifeline phone AND lifeline internet?

          • Susan says

            I’d suggest you wait and see if you can have both, because you can’t have a landline Lifeline discount AND a free Lifeline cell phone. I had to give up one or the other.

  4. Aline winters says

    how do you sign up for the low income internet program? please send information about what we need to do to get this program and the guidelines. thanks

    • Linda fischer says

      We are low income on SSI and IHSS. plus adult son SSi/autism. Internet is critical to his education and his life in general. TW just raised us out of range and we need low cost internet now. Please help.

  5. stephany henifin says

    im a single mom with to kids. i currently on ssi for a disabililty and tryin to
    go back to school. i need internet to do school work at home

    • Jeremy says

      All these people trys 2 go back 2 school and DON”T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SPELL!

      • kim says

        With this economy, not everyone can afford internet. Now of days you must have some kind of internet access to go to a traditional college. You should treat others the way you want to be treated. Everyone can and will make mistakes several times’a’day. Be nice and treat everyone with the respect they deserve. I have friends and family that could really use this program. You never know when you could lose everything you worked so hard to get and keep. Jobs are not promised or earned anymore. Everyone can be replaced. Have a nice day and bless everyone.

      • Kathryn Scott says

        Your comment is not helpful nor correct sentence structure either.
        I had an upper middle class life, a great career, a beautiful house, family etc. I became sick, then totally disabled and lost everything. Now I’m a low-income person without family to help.
        These things happen to people everyday all over the world due to no fault of their own.
        I’m attending college at Harvard through which is also free by the way.
        Not everyone receives a good education. Additionally, everyone makes mistakes daily. Even you unless you’re a God of some sort and infallible which I doubt by the tone and judgement of your comments.
        Please give people a break because some day soon you will need one yourself.
        I’m looking for a low cost computer, a cell phone and inexpensive internet. I have no children at home. I am low income and disabled.
        Any ideas out there? My class lectures are via video’s, This will require far more than the lower gigs.
        Please let me know. I’ve been searching this site all day. I’m not finding what I need.
        I signed up for the newsletter. I hope that wlll provide updated information?
        Thank you for all your information! If it can’t help me maybe it will help others I know.

  6. Sandy Onopa says

    Is it possible I can receive updates for this New Lifeline Internet you are advertising that is coming soon? Its kinda hard to keep coming back and checking because of NO Internet Service!! Thank You, Sandy in Riverside, CA

    • Cheap Internet Administrator says

      Yes. In the top right of any page here, there will be a box that says “Get updates in your email.” Enter your email, and don’t forget to click the confirmation email that you will immediately receive.

  7. EHamilton says

    Last year (2011), my 90 yr. old mother learned about the Life-line Program (that helps on her home landline phones here in Oklahoma) thru her Dept. of Human Services office. They gave her lots of info on Life-line. Then they told her to choose a phone provider & contact them about applying for Life-line. She chose AT&T, called them, and they sent an application to her. She signed it, provided verification of income , and that she’s on a government assistance program, and they got her on Life-line. fast. Perhaps this Life-line Internet program will work in similar fashion with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in various areas? I know my Mom will be interested in getting more affordable Internet access & this addition to Lifeline would sure help her in many ways. I hope it comes about as soon as possible.

  8. IZEL says

    how do you sign up for the low income internet program? please send information about what we need to do to get this program . thanks

  9. Roxanne Hedrington says

    send me information please I am currently.with at@t it is a promotion threw dish network. but we struggle to pay the bills but my 13 year old needs it for school,

  10. David says

    When did cell phones and Internet become a need? People who work pay taxes for this so called need! This is ridiculous, get a landline for everyone and they can go to the library for Internet.

    • georgie says

      What about homeless?
      What about people who spend all day working or trying to find a job & aren’t at home?
      What about disabled people who can’t get up to go to a landline phone and can’t afford a cordless?

      For internet – kids now HAVE TO use the internet for school. Many can’t get to the library (or home from it) because parents are working or don’t have cars.

      Don’t be an elitist jerk

      • djones says

        not only that, BUT the library is usually full of ppl allready on the computers and you have to sign a list for your next turn.

      • been there says

        Thank you, Georgie.
        It is nice to know that there are still people out there who dont “look down their noses” at those who simply CANNOT use generally available options.
        You are right, Internet AND phones (landline and cell) are an ABSOLUTE necessity in todays world. No phone/no call to go to work. No internet/ no application submitted.
        Its just the way things work now.

    • bgbdbill67 says

      Hey Dave; I work every day for the wonderful income I’m lucky to have. I have three daughters in school and a wife out of work. (layed-off escrow officer)
      I get food stamps to help out and hey I’m paying taxes to help myself and the others here who need it so buzz off !!

    • Nancy Baer says

      I am on disability..receive $782.08 a month to BARELY SURVIVE goes..I pay $349.88 mortgage..$39.08 property insurance..$170.76 property taxes..electric varies($50.00-$75.00)..water $25.00..sewer $30.00..transportation(I have no car)$40.00..Care Creditwo geriatric cats) $149.00..and on..and on..and on..WHERE am I supposed to get the extra money for the “LUXURY” of a basic internet service??!! I am TRYING my hardest to TOTALLY become self sufficient again..yet noone will hire me because I don’t have a cheap car or internet service!!!!HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT PURE H-E-L-L MY LIFE HAS BEEN!!!!!!!

      • Beverly says

        Well put Nancy!, I ran out of un-employment, my second quarter was short by $650, so I get $0.00. I worked my entire life until this big job crash & can’t find a job to save my life. Try talking to Catholic Church in your area; they have helped me a lot but not will phone or internet which are actually life-line today.
        Good Luck, Beverly

    • Beverly says

      No. 1. If they are walking & get hurt/ fall, etc & no one see’s them, where’s the help-line?????
      No. 2. Maybe they can’t walk or get to a library for distance or disability, they don’t deserve the internet.

  11. Shupinar Koubong says


    I live in California, US. I am a citizen of US. I was laid off a year ago and now living on Social Security receiving $354.00 a month. I need help in securing a cheap internet and home phone services. I could hardly breath every month with such a very tight income. I appreciate it very much if can be considered into the low income internet and home phone services or at least the internet. This is very important for me for communication purposes.
    Thank you for your kind consideration.
    Shupinar Koubong

  12. Twila Klense says

    I would like more information about signing up for lifeline internet. I just recently recieved my lifeline phone. Thankyou

  13. Trisha McIntyre says

    David, do you work? Well if you don’t, you should not care where federal funds are going to help people, especially seniors as myself, who live on meager funding in Social Security due to a early “retirement” due to disability. Seniors, women driving with small kids, and the car breaks down need cell phones because no one will stop to help besides it being unsafe to hail down a passing car in this violent day & age.

    As for the free internet, you mention the library, well are you one of the selfish who abused its Internet use where now libraries have a lower limit of use, no more than a half and hour per day & they have a system that can detect if you used a computer in another library?….

  14. Real Solutions says

    Last I checked Trisha, ANY cell phone will still dial 911 which is what you need in a real emergency… doesn’t have to be on a current plan, just have a working battery. Otherwise, do what we all used to do- get an answering machine and call back when you’re home. Cell phones are luxuries. And it’s crazy that people are complaining about their bills and not having time… and then mention CABLE? Turn off the tv, go to the library and lower my taxes… and no, I’m not an elitist jerk. I actually qualify for this program… and food stamps… and use neither because I believe in personal responsibility and living within my means. You should too and our country would be in much better shape. To the people who post here asking for someone to tell them all the answers… this is why you are on assistance. The sources and links have already been provided for you if actually read the article. *2 cents, free change.

    • Maralee K. says

      You need to download the FREE internet book ‘The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” by C. Iserbyt (not just any Republican, but Ron Reagan’s Sr. Advisor) who exposes the OFFICIAL secret gov’t program to drop literacy rates in this nation. We USED to stand at 94% literacy in 1970: as of 2011 the US is at just 50% literacy. This means 1:2 US citizens can’t read/write at a 5th grade level!

      Other nations (who’ve NO problems getting jobs for their citizens) made it a priority to RAISE literacy rates. S. Korea now has 98% literacy (w/all students required to learn both English & Korean by 5th grade), India pays for college for those seeking technical, teaching & business degrees, and even Vietnam is pushing for higher literacy (now at 78%) – while the US has gutted programs & forced schools to ‘teach to the test’ so as to stop literacy & learning.

      To encourage drop-outs many states no longer give diplomas after 12 yrs of H.S.- they give ‘certificates of attendance’ if you can’t pass all 5 sections of the test w/80% scores or better. My learning disabled son got honors in all but Science – he missed his 12th grade test by 2 points – & the school said he couldn’t have a ‘real’ diploma. We sued (& won) because he couldn’t get a job w/just an ‘attendance sheet’. Most students who realize they won’t get a ‘real’ diploma drop out by 10th grade & turn to crime & welfare. The US has more citizens in prison (2.46 million) than the next 3 countries combined – at a cost of 112 Billion/yr! Why? Privatization of prisons = profit.

      Welfare gives just barely enough so people’ll take their checks, sit back, not vote & leave the wealthy (like ALL of Congress) to gut this nation’s resources. Obama was an idiot to think he could take on the organized wealthy of Congress. You think these programs are expensive? Ha! The military (57% of the budget) has a program of deliberate waste that’s staggering: 7 secret gov’t dumps operate 24/7 where boxcars of BRAND NEW items – laptops to kitchen cabinets to custom-made couches are destroyed by the trainload – all to spend what Congress keeps giving them to continue ‘the war effort’ or they’ll lose their funding.(my son – who went in all gung-ho – was high up in counter-intel & still can’t reveal much of what soured him on the military machine but the sheer waste he encountered was staggering… starting w/Bush getting all troops & ships into position 10 months b4 9/11 then invading Iraq on pure lies to the tune of 2.5 TRILLION bucks)

      W/most Americans too ignorant & uncaring (love thy neighbor? Ha!) this nation’s doomed to fall in the next 20 – 30 years. People listen to radio personalities like Trivisonno (10th grade education & brags about it!) or Limbaugh (H.S. diploma) to get their info because they can’t read & never check sites like to see if what they hear is truth or myth- like birthers who don’t know Hawaii’s a state or the President’s birth announcements were planted in ’61 because ‘they’ planned to run Obama in 2007 (in ’61 blacks still had separate water fountains).

      Everyone’s busy blaming someone else for all their troubles, plus we’re afraid of EVERYTHING. This nation’s a bunch of wusses. 1 nut shoots up ONE theater & now people’re afraid to go to the movies & gun sales shoot thru the roof? The gov’t keeps telling us to ‘be afraid’ (like during Bush/Cheney when they advised people to tape up their homes w/ plastic & duct tape d/t ‘an imminent biological attack ‘someplace’ & idiots went & did this. 8 families DIED of C02 & C0 poisoning). What ever happened to ‘we have nothing to fear but fear itself!”?

      I have 3 REAL college degrees – all paid for by ME. The 1st cost just $2200: I used CLEP tests (6 credit hrs still cost $65) & FREE textbooks from the public library to test out of the entire degree from Univ. of the State of NY [which NO student 'advisor' tells grads is available]. The 2nd cost 4,600 and the last just $3945 (Canterbury Univ in the UK). I’ve degrees in nursing (RN,C), applied management & theology. Anyone can do it – but we teach students & citizens how helpless they are & how they need someone to tell them how to learn. Hogwash!!!

      • Ejay says

        I’d like to kiss you on the mouth then slap you. You make the great factual point that America has been dumbed down and then slam the victims of said policy.

      • D says

        To: Maralee K.

        Not all of us out here are blessed with your Superior Intellect.. Now with your “3 REAL college degrees” and your “degrees in nursing (RN,C), applied management & theology ” AND your ‘Superior Attitude’, do something useful with them besides bashing “most Americans too ignorant”. You’re not Helping anyone with YOUR ‘Ignorance’. Where is your ‘Compassion’? If you knew as much as your comments ‘try’ to reveal… wouldn’t ‘KICK’ the ‘people’ while their down.

        Your comments reveal a very angry person….and it takes a lot of energy to be that angry. Use that energy to help others who are not as Fortunate as yourself. Teach with Compassion…..NOT loathing as you display in your comments. (Ex: “so people’ll take their checks, sit back, to gut this nation’s resources”) Or is that beneath you? Something, it seems, you truly missed with ALL your EDUCATION. This is not the place to boast of all YOUR accomplishments, OR to complain about the government and all their faults (or about the people that live under this government). Most of us “ignorant” people (as YOU say) already know FIRST HAND about our government (GOOD & BAD). Use your EDUCATION for change, but not on a site where, as you say, “ignorant” people are asking for help. Asking for HELP doesn’t mean we are “ignorant” . And it DOESN’T mean we need “someone to tell them how to learn.” “Hogwash!!!” (as you put it). We don’t all possess ” 3 REAL college degrees” or “degrees in nursing (RN,C), applied management & theology”. And NO! NOT EVERYONE OR “Anyone can do it “, as you have so KINDLY put it.

        This comment applies to ALL the negative comments I’ve read on here regarding people in need. If you want to “bash” the ‘less fortunate’ or ‘the government’, why not do it at the correct website or forum. This forum is for the’ less fortunate’ to get the necessary information they need.

    • Reply says

      Dear David,
      I am in absolute agreement with you. My husband got laid off two years ago and has been waiting tables ever since. He only works twenty hours a week and I quit my corporate job to finish school so we are living off of one very small income. We absolutely qualify as being in poverty, yet we have never received any government assistance. We budget ourselves and do not live outside our means. We have cell phones, but we go without other stuff. I grew up much the same way. My dad died when I was six and my mother left to raise 3 hungry children. we didn’t have fast food and new clothes, and we never got one bit of help from the government. Instead my mother, the house wife worked for 12,000 a year and paid off her house after 18 years of prioritizing bills and living frugal. We went to garage sales and thrift stores, but we had the integrity of hard work instilled in us. So many people nowadays just want handouts. Read between the fine lines people and wake up! What happens if all of the tax payers quit their jobs? Than no taxes will be paid to the federal government and what happens when no taxes get paid to them?? We are in even more of a ridiculous deficit. I am not for taking advantage of the government, especially since they denied my mother help because we had a roof over our head. If a family of four making 12k a year is not poverty merely because my father and mother were responsible enough to invest in a home, than we live in a real messed up society.

    • Concerned says

      To Real Solutions,
      You said “I actually qualify for this program… and food stamps… and use neither because I believe in personal responsibility and living within my means.” What type of public assistance are you on that qualifies you for this program? Medicaid?
      Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)?
      Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
      National School Lunch’s FREE Lunch Program (NSL)?
      Or is it that your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines? Residents of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas can qualify with household incomes all the way up to 150% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

      These are the main ways that a person qualifies for the Lifeline phone program.
      You said “I actually qualify for this program… and food stamps.” If you qualify because your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines then I believe that you “believe in personal responsibility and living within my means.”
      But if you qualify because you are on some type of public assistance then you can’t truly say that you “believe in personal responsibility.” A true belief in personal responsibility, according to you, would mean not being on any type of public assistance at all.

    • bgbdbill67 says

      I already replied to Dave. Now miss REAL SOLUTIONS it’s your turn.. I hope some day you don’t go so far down the drain that you do need the help. If you think these programs are why your taxes are so high. You need to do a little more research. Are you aware of the fact that the government has a building, three stories high and as long as a football field. Inside this building is office furniture from many of the previous politicians? That furniture wasn’t good enough for the next politician in office, so he remodeled.( mind you none of it was in bad shape) just not to his taste. Some of these desks cost as much as hundreds of thousands to custom make. Now Imagine the total cost of all our tax dollars sitting in this room. I’m going get help whenever and wherever I can and so should others. The politicians use it at there free will, Why shouldn’t We?

      • greenmtngal says

        I couldn’t agree more with your comments, is nice to realize that there are others out there like myself. Why shouldn’t WE get our FAIR SHARE as well as the rich? THEY have been doing it for years!!!! I am NOT ASHAMED to ask our so called “government” for a HAND-(((UP))) when the rich have been getting HAND-(((OUTS FOR YEARS!))) We deserve to have the necessities of life, and a free/low cost computer and a CHEAP INTERNET are right up there;-)

  15. Bettie Johnson says

    How long before people can sign up? I am on disability & trying to cut back! This program could be a life saver!

  16. Cheryl Fabery says

    How can i apply for the lifeline internet….please let me know ,,,i have a lifeline land phone and am interested in this…as i can’t afford the prices that i would have to pay ,,too expensive for me….

  17. click here says

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website accidentally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  18. Wanda Calhoun says

    What is the information (website/contact number/company) for residents TX to qualify for free internet and computer? The internet I have is to expense, I can not afford it. I would like to go back to school to prepare for a good job.

  19. Louise Swindell says

    This cheap high speed internet is the greatest thing I have found. I’ve had dial-up for a few years because I couldn’t afford the high speed internets. The words I’d like to use to describe dial-up would not be approprate to use on here.

  20. Ashley says

    I am currently on government assistance and I have LifeLine on my Verizon phone. I cannot afford pricey internet service. How can I sign up for this? Does this work on desktop computers as well?

  21. PawPaDawg says

    ok if you can not afford to pay for it yourself then you dk NOT need it. this all goes back to when the welfare act was set up after ww2. now you have deadbeats taking advantage of it that are able body and can work bit choose not too because why should they when they can have someone elsenpay thier bills and feed them. i remember growing up andnhearing….. if you don’t work then you don’t eat. i know several that are rippng off prgrams. when i report them NOTHING is done and yet they still milk the system.

    • b says

      If your spelling and sentence structure was a little better I may give your thought equal consideration..Perhaps that is why no one does anything if indeed you are reporting TRUE “deadbeats” ,as you should of course.

    • Ejay says

      the economy is in a tailspin, you douche nozzle. then some jackazz like you steps out and say ‘hey you losers pull yourself up by yer bootstraps’ to ppl who can’t afford boots through no fault of their own. jerkface.

  22. tashoya young says

    I would like to know how to apply for cheap internet service. I am in school online and I need internet service to do my homework.

  23. JanH says

    Will there be a limit on how much you can use the internet with this program? I know there is a limit on the time on the phones.

    I’m a senior, so I think this is the only program that would apply to me, and it sure would help. My Social Security is $637 a month and my cable bill with internet (49.95) is $127 a month, and getting ready to go up to $166.

  24. Don Mullican says

    I am retired, get food stamps, and live in a rural area. I would like to get the lifeline Internet. Please tell me how?

  25. D Smith says

    I would like more info on cheap internet.. I’m in process of getting SSI and on food stamps. What or wher do I need to check. The only cable co. in my town is suddenlink.

  26. Halla says

    Hi, how do i go about getting cheap internet, my son in homeschooled, and my At&t bill is 45 a month, and i cannot efford it. please help. thank you

    • Cheap Internet Administrator says

      No they won’t. Not that we don’t think they are snooping on us elsewhere, but I don’t think they have any special interest on snooping on people who are low income.

      • Kel says

        It concerns me that you are that paranoid, wack. The average person doesn’t ask that question. (Notice that you are the ONLY one who did.) Exactly WHAT are you worried about them seeing, if they WERE watching? I don’t think they intended it to be used for surfing porn sites or sharing porn, trolling websites for indecent intentions with children, internet gambling,harassing/stalking others or to commit treason, if that’s what you are worried about. As the article states, it is meant to help folks find and apply for jobs, access the resources needed for schooling or medical needs, and other such PRODUCTIVE uses. Hell, for shut ins, Facebook could even be considered social therapy, if they have little in the way of other human contact. Your question is frankly unnerving. If you are so worried about someone watching what you are doing on the internet, perhaps you should stick with traditional plans. Even then, if you commit a crime, know that your computer can be seized and all data recovered…even the stuff you “thought” you’d deleted. Best bet: Use the service in the manner in which it was intended to be used, and you’ll have nothing to be paranoid about.

  27. Vickie says

    None of these different companies I get directed to works out. They don’t service my area, it’s not available in my state yet and the others have a 3 or 4 month introductory and even DOUBLE after that. I think I am stuck with Cricket Broadband because even though my speed slows just a few days into the months data usage; some of the up front fees are too much for my low to no income lifestyle. Does anyone have suggestions that aren’t listed here? My kids need the internet for school and college applications so that makes it almost a necessity these days.

  28. Vonda Trucs says

    Update from North Carolina: the help with a land line installation is gone at the federal level as of March, 2012, per the FCC and the phone company here that would have participated: AT&T.

    The know nothings at the local DSS offices still have brochures in their offices stating that this is available, but it no longer is. They also know nothing about any other communications options other than the cell phone assistance. What do they care, after all? Until the recent budget cuts get them too, they’re salaried, with benefits and paid well above the poverty level of those they “serve”.

  29. Maria says

    How can I find information on the cheap internet…I’am a student, and i have two disabled parents that i can show their income. Where can i find the application for my dad

  30. Youra Arami says

    To whom it may concern:
    where can I find the application for the internet and the cellphone that is offered for disabled low income families. I’m trying to get a phone for my father as well as internet. where should we look. Any where i click takes me to bunch of writing

  31. royfarhad says

    I already have a lifeline phone service would it matter if i wanted lifeline internet as well PS.
    thank you

  32. Lee says

    I am NOT seeing info I need at all. All I read requires that I have kids in school but nothing about those of us who don’t have kids. I am Deaf and because of it, I need internet so that I can make and recieve phone calls using video relay. Without it, I am totally cut off from society.

    To date, I found NOTHING to those of us who need Internet to communicate.

    Is the pending Lifeline Internet open for those who doesn’t have kids in school? I do not have lifeline phone service because 250 texts per month is too few for the Deaf, even though I qualify for it.

    • says

      You have correctly pointed out an obvious flaw in this system. Unfortunately, seniors are also under-served by the various programs. We will continue urging all the companies involved to address these issues, so please keep checking back here at frequently so you’ll be aware when they take action.

  33. Jan says

    This program seems to be moving very slowly other than where Comcast has service. I’m a senior living in a VERY small town in Illinois and my cable company is Mediacom. There are no other internet providers here. Is there any possibility that AT&T might enter the program, or that there might be any other access?

    I keep getting emails from you, sometimes every day, but they all seem to say the same thing – Comcast will offer 9.95 internet. Any “NEW” news would be welcome.

  34. Sharon says

    Great idea. . . but Florida has some of the poorest of the poor in the Nation. Yet NONE of the groups outlined here provide service in our area.

  35. crystal Loxley says

    It said this was approved in 2012? Here it is 2013… why no updated information on how to apply? Comcast is not in my area so it doesn’t help much to offer that.

  36. jan Mashburn says

    How do i apply? Im not understaning. I need this very bad. Im on foodstamps&I draw ssi. Could u help me?

    • Cheap Internet Administrator says

      You can’t really apply yet. Read the “Coming Soon…” section of the page. We’re still waiting, as you are.

  37. shanda says

    Im looking for a cheaper internet plan, but in my area only thing available is satellite which is too expensive and doesn’t always work. I really wish they would serve our area.

  38. Kerry O says

    I live in CA. I see that the Internet Lifeline is “coming Soon”, but as a singleton, do I qualify for any of the other programs available in Southern California? I clicked on them all, but I may have been missing something. Do you know, or should I call each provider?
    This is a terrifically helpful site.

  39. thomas w. atkielski says

    Dear rep:
    A 73 year old on 894.00 monthly S.S. & S.S.I., I am ready to subscribe to your Ca. Sate or company programs that offer low income seniors either free or very low cost internet! Can you help me enter step 2?

    Thomas *****
    ****** N. Harbor Blvd.
    fullerton, Ca., *****
    Phone &&&-752-1142

  40. Catherine says

    In California Reach Out Wireless now has the lifeline internet program. But I was told in chat support it costs $24.00 for 250 mb a month? It appears to be a mobile internet you can use on your laptop or smart phone. No way could I afford that. On their banner though it says as low as $5 a month(???) I am not sure what is going on. I have to upload proof of my SSI to apply and maybe get some answers. I can’t do that right now. If I ever find out anything else interesting I might come back and let you know.

  41. kristina hoover says

    I have the phone service and would love to be able to get this internet service maybe someone can help me with this…thanx so much

  42. dorothey plunk says

    I got a letter for lifeline enternet and lost it. I cant find anything on line about getting it.n. please send me something. it may have been in Rhonda Horton, she is my daughter

  43. carlos says

    to administrator. alot of people keep asking how to apply. i have clicked your link and every link on every page and have not been able to find a way to check my zipcode or how to apply. please be more specific or provide better links or instructions instead of just read above or that link that does not lead to a place to check availability in a zip code. my zip is 28215. thanks

    • Cheap Internet Administrator says

      We don’t have a zip code lookup and the companies do give us a list of zip codes they serve. You just have to go to one of the website, like Internet Basics or Internet Essentials, for example, and then check your address there.

  44. Robin Atteberry says

    I am disabled and on S.S.I. and I go to Ashford University online. It’s hard to make it I am in serious danger of having to stop school because I cant afford my innernet. I live alone, after my niece used me for my money. I only get $710 a month, and drounding in debt. What will I do?

  45. Robin Atteberry says

    Please someone help me? I am enrolled in a four year program I fear losing my innernet connection. Why do disabled people have to go through this?

  46. Ricardo says

    Hi this free internet will be just perfect for me because I have a voucher to go back to school and the school I alredy register with offers on line programs,I am my .wife’s care giver ,she is disabled and I only make 400 dollars a month ,I really hope this free program goes well,im already a free cell member ,250 texts and 250 minutes but they unfortunately go quick,thank you for your time and looking forward to hear from you.

  47. says

    Right now its so hard to have internet i live in south carolina where the cost of living is suppose to be cheap but its not so there prices on interent n broadband is ridiculously high so it wld be nice to have this free internet so my children can search the web for homework n etc

  48. shar says

    I am just learning about this program. I am getting my own apt. I am a senior, and I am disabled. I will not be able to afford cable TV but the internet is very important to me.
    I am in NY State. How do I sign up for the low income program for internet?

  49. Faith A. Mostoller-Hugar says

    I am low income. I need internet in my home in order to go to school. I’m an online student
    Please point me in the right direction for the lifeline internet service program.

  50. Dorothea Jameson says

    I bought freedompop mobile device and in 24 hours I used 2 gigs. They told me their service wasn’t for me . They didn’t mention Connect2 compete to me. I would like more information about it.

  51. NC girl says

    Nothing for NC of course. We are currently paying Time Warner about $65 for service that originally was $35. Now we hear that Comcast and Time Warner are merging – great.
    You cannot get by without high speed internet and they have the option of gouging customers in rural areas, since you have no choice.
    Will believe internet for lower income when I see it

  52. margaret says

    I have been looking for a very long time for a low cost internet provider and not able to find one.
    how do I find someone I have to go out to use a computer and only can be on the computer for a half hour at a time the place I go to that is all the time aloud.
    there are so many adds for free internet for low income and disable but when I click on them they say page not avable

  53. Lee says

    I got on that low income internet basics program for college, it was suppose to help me not hurt me financially. The deal was $9.95 give or take…I am so angry because I feel mislead; I can barely pay $9.95, but that is not what I ended up paying…I am paying almost $16.00. On SSI, that is too much for me. Everyday I consider dumping it because I can’t handle the bill anymore since that is not what I agreed on. Every year this bill just keeps going up. Be very careful and don’t just sign up when they tell you the internet program for the poor is $9.95 for 5 years…they are lying to you; it is not: This is a trap!

    • Cheap Internet Administrator says

      We’ve never heard of Internet Basics costing anyone $16 a month. Can you tell us if there is an equipment charge or any other charges added to the bill?

  54. Joshua Cook says

    I really interested in the free smart phone with Internet it is just really hard making it when not alot of work out there? I have not had internet in so long if i had it on my phone i could get new job do my resume alot of things that would help me i have a free phone a little small one i am ready to give that one back and get this new one!


  1. […] The goal of the program is to test different programs in different markets to determine the most efficient, most effective way to bring cheap high-speed internet to low-income Americans. (A word of caution: They are also testing heavily-discounted programs, and while we believe a free plan will be available, it’s possible that there could be a low monthly cost. Regardless, we feel confident the smartphone will be free.) If you’re interested in more details, we explain the various options being considered here. […]

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