Senior Internet Service – Is there an Internet for Seniors plan?

BIG NEWS: Comcast has just started a pilot program to determine if and how to extend Internet Essentials to low-income senior citizens. Click Here to read more about that program.

Too many of America’s senior citizens have trouble paying their bills these days. Many have had their savings wiped out, others have seen their income decline sharply due to low interest rates, and some live on their social security payments and simply can’t keep up with rising expenses. 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.

With all the new programs that provide inexpensive internet to low-income people, one would think there must be an internet program specifically designed to provide internet for seniors. But surprisingly, there are no such senior internet programs, not even an AARP Internet plan.

They government (the Federal Communications Commission) has “encouraged” Comcast to create the Internet Essentials broadband internet service for low-income Americans. It also “encouraged” Century Link to set up, Internet Basics, an internet service for students on free lunch programs. But, alas, nothing to provide internet for senior citizens.

Connect2Compete was created as a partnership of non-profit groups and private companies to help low income Americans cross the digital divide. But, alas, Connect2Compete offers no senior internet programs.

The government is in a pilot program that we’ve dubbed “Lifeline Internet” because it is similar to the Lifeline Assistance program, which helps low-income households get free cell phones and free minutes. But, that programs seems to have stalled.

We’ve developed this page because we have received so many emails from needy seniors asking why the government and various companies seemingly help everyone but them. Where is cheap internet for seniors? Why no senior internet programs?

Here’s our advice: While there is no cheap internet program designed specifically for them, it’s quite possible that many seniors may qualify for one of the existing programs. Check each program’s eligibility requirements to see if you qualify.

Let’s review them quickly:

Internet Basics: If you participate in any governmental assistance programs such as food stamps (SNAP), public housing assistance, Medicaid, Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income, various Home Energy Assistance Programs, National School Lunch and other programs, OR if your income is at or below 135-150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you may qualify. Follow the link for more information.

Internet Essentials: If there is a student in your house who participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), they many qualify for this program that provides $9.95/month high-speed internet and a computer for $150. Do you have a grandchild or even great grandchild living with you?

Connect2Compete: This has essentially the same eligibility criteria as Internet Essentials, above — a child on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

We hope that we will one day be able to replace this page with one that announces a new “cheap internet for seniors” package. We’ll keep you informed of anything that might be coming.

In the meantime, we encourage you to call your state and federal representatives, and even the cable and telephone companies themselves, to urge them to expand their cheap internet programs to include America’s needy seniors.


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  1. Nola Semrau says

    We are paying $85 a month JUST for Internet. Our fixed income is just a couple dollars over the allowed amount to be on any programs that would help us, like food stamps etc.
    Maybe if my 67 yr. old hubby would quit his little P. time job which makes him feel good about hisself we would get help but he worked hard all his life, both of us! Always paid our taxes so others could benefit and now look where we are now!

  2. Bonnie says

    is this bait and switch? I saw internet service for low-income seniors and then it turned to low-income kids in school. what gives?

  3. Donna Shepherd says

    Is there a number I can call? I don’t know how to connect. Please give me. a number. Thank you and may God Bless All

  4. Roseann Duplessis says

    I am looking for Low-income Internet with 2GB service. I am on disability, and on Snap Link food program. Hope you can help

    Thank you
    Ms. R. Duplessis

  5. Estie says

    We “all” want our senior citizens to keep their mental faculties for as long as possible. Having access to the internet helps them create new memories and keep mentally healthy. I know this because my father is 82 and we had internet for awhile, but costs keep rising to 0the point that we will not be able to afford it. At age 80 he first entered the super information highway” He was fantastic, now he owns and operates an iPad, and is teaching myself and my mama.
    PLEASE pay attention to our pleas.
    There are 3 of us in the household, with the income of $14,000. We have a reverse mortgage, the only way we can have a decent home.
    Thank you.

  6. Zina Verhaal says

    My sister is home bound and living on a low fixed income. She would benefit greatly with a low income internet program to help her keep in touch with family and friends and feel a active part of her world. Her quality of life would be enhanced tremendously. Please consider opening up the low income program to our seniors in need.

  7. katie says

    After applying for Internet Essentials by fax and waiting for a gut week, I found out that it can’t be read . So I apply by e-mail scanning. Four days later, I get another application in the mail. Now I am chekin my status and it tells me that I haven’t sent application. IS THIS A BIG SCAM???? dOES cOMCAST EMPLOY PEOPLE THAT BLATENLY LIE TO YOU, OR ARE INCOMPETENT??? I have 3 grand boys that are anxious to be, to start working with their own computer, only to be dissappointed over and over. You need to hire some knowledgeable American employees that have command of the English language also. Very difficult to understand. I’m gettin ready to post all the facts on facebook, I’m so irate!!!.

  8. Michael Angell says

    A brain injury at birth (hydrocephalus @ birth, 1947) has left me me with motor/perceptual and (life-long) leaning disabilities. No”shunts” were imposed, a they were deemed “unsafe”until 1952. I use an iMac desktop computer, a it seems more “disability friendly” (as indeed it was, up until the introduction of OS X)

    At the age of 67, I do not wish to give up my iMac, which still seems to be the simplest yet the most versatile (certainly the most seamless) computing system on today’s market; why, then, are so many “disability-Friendly” marketers so reluctant to produce software/hardware/peripherals?

    Please advise me as to which said materials are available (or at least adaptable) for Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 (to include OS 9.2.2) and above.

  9. Catherine Shade says

    When ATT acquired Direct TV I was sure they would start an internet service for seniors. Now Comcast has beat them to the punch by beginning a pilot program in a couple of states. Because seniors live on modest income consideration should be given to them immediately.

  10. C.Helms says

    Help, PLEASE! My husband and I have only his s.s. every month and no other income. Neither of us are able to work (our ages are in the 60’s and 70’s) due to health and expanded news media and info of the internet is a large part of our social life daily. But being on a very small fixed income internet is becoming something we can not afford. We have landline phone with no long distance carrier, OTA television with no extras and have not been more than 30 miles from our house in several years. Please help the seniors.

  11. rachel says

    Desperately need some free/cheaper internet for low income elderly. Cannot afford to pay $75/month for internet, but the internet has become a lifeline to so many seniors. WE REALLY, REALLY NEED IT NOW!!!

  12. Vicky Schultz says

    My Mom lives off her Social Security and can’t afford another monthly payment for Internet Service, especially since it is pricey. If she could get something a little cheaper per month, she would be able to have keep up with what is going on in the world today.

    Please let me know if you get a program that would work for her.

    Thank you, Vicky

  13. donna morris says

    I live in a senior facility-he owns the direct tv cable and there is no internet access except verizon-for $60.00 per mo.-so we cannot get cheaper internet-we tried with Time-Warner and alkl the cables have been cut-I understand the importance of being online-and for seniors-cannot the FCC step in-as this is a monopoly-thanks-Donna Morris