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

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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Comments

  1. Denise says

    I am on disability and had a good paying job. Now I barely make it each month. Nothing to save, no raise to speak of, no more bonuses, no 401k. The cell phone was a God send for us. Now my husband needs to retire early due to illness so that means that much less. We need the internet also. Finding insurance, finding doctors, etc. I also have a niece that I would like to come live with us to go to college and she would definitely need internet. Seniors need help too! Please help! The issue is just because I don’t live in the Big City I have limited access to good insurance coverage but my specialists are all in the Big City. It doesn’t make any sense. Shouldn’t be such a big deal. Still considered group insurance.

  2. Derekviana says

    I’m a vet senior and I can’t even buy a condo with a pet single all my life living on very little for 24 yrs now with vet benefits paying lawyer 20% to win benefits every cable company sticks you with cable and VERY HIGH $$$ for just simple internet for me only they don’t care ! I’ve checked them all out & none have a decent price!

  3. Scamp says

    I am angry at all the “Freebies” that our government gives away — cell phones, internet, this/that — to people who have lots of children in the – Yes, FREE – lunch programs. The same people who have different dead-beat daddies for different children. The more UN-traditional you are in your lifestyle, the more free stuff handed to you. I could not even get food stamps when I had to sleep in my car for a while (years ago).
    Govt needs to take care of Seniors who go by the rules of society.

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