We’ve written many articles about the big, national cheap internet programs like Comcast’s Internet Essentials and CenturyLink’s Internet Basics, but now there’s a new, independent program that looks very interesting in the state of Washington. Well, to be absolutely accurate, it’s not new. We’ve actually mentioned it briefly in other articles, but now Interconnection deserves an article of its own.
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.
Who’s eligible? Low income residents of Evergreen State plus those who receive benefits from government aid programs. To be more specific, you must be able to present proof that your income falls below the federal poverty guidelines. In Washington state that means you can show you make less than $1,916 per month. Alternately, you can show proof that you receive government benefits (food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, TANF, State Family Assistance, free or discounted school lunches, or a number of other programs).
The biggest differences between this plan and bigger programs such as Internet Basics and Internet Essentials program, is that Interconnection Internet is totally mobile. (1) The other plans require a permanent home address with phone or cable lines, but Interconnection Internet doesn’t. (2) You can participate in Interconnection Internet even if you don’t receive benefits from any state or federal government aid programs. (3) Since the program is wifi-based, you don’t need a permanent home address to participate. That means that the homeless are eligible, too. (4) Instead of filling out paper applications, you apply in person.
Now let’s get to the biggest difference between the programs: Interconnection does not offer the $9.95 monthly payment plans offered by the other organizations. So instead of paying $9.95 per month for internet service, Interconnection Internet requires you to pay for one year of service in advance. You’ll be required to pay $99 if you also buy that $149 laptop computer we referred to earlier, or $120 total if you don’t purchase the computer.
There are other up-front charges, too, because the Interconnection Internet plan also requires you to purchase a modem up-front. The hub modem, which plugs into any electrical outlet and can connect to multiple devices at the same time, will set you back $36. The mobile USB laptop modem, which plug into any computer’s USB port, goes for $43. The wireless mobile hotspot, which is small enough to fit in your pocket and can connect multiple devices simultaneously, is priced at $76.
In other words, in the most expensive scenario, you could purchase one year of service ($99), a laptop ($149) and the wireless mobile hotspot ($76), you would be required to pre-pay $324.
Address: 415 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA
Admittedly, that’s costly for anyone who qualifies because they fall below the federal poverty guidelines, but you get a lot for your money. And there’s no contract and no credit check.
As we said earlier, you must apply for the program in person. Where? At Interconnection’s retail store at 3415 Stone Way N in Seattle.