We’ve tracked down another cable TV company that’s offering an affordable internet plan to low-income Americans. It’s called Kinetic and it’s offered by Windstream Communications.
Of course, the offer is only good for low-income Americans who reside in areas in the 18 states where Windstream offers residential service. That includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Windstream offers new customers a special promo price of just $19.99 for the first year. But you won’t actually pay that much because Windstream applies a $9.95 Lifeline per month discount to that price so you end up paying a mere $10.04 per month for twelve months. After that first year, you’ll automatically move to the High Speed Internet 25 Mbps plan shown below. So your ongoing monthly price will be $17.75 (the price of the plan minus that monthly discount).
Lifeline is a federal program that helps low-income lower their monthly cost of phone or internet service. It’s best known for its free government cell plan, but also subsidizes low-income internet plans like Windstream’s. But please keep in mind that your monthly Lifeline discount can be applied to a free government cell phone plan or low-income internet service. But it can only be used for one or the other, not both.
Here’s a map that shows where you can get Windstream’s offers:
Different rules for residents of different states
Leave it to the government and big corporations to make the enrollment process and confusing as possible. Instead of offering the same rules and regulations everywhere in the country, we end up with several different ways to apply in different states. So we’re going to simply quote Windstream’s website, so look for your state listed below (and remember that Windstream offers service in only 18 states):
For residents of Minnesota
Minnesota stands alone for a lot of reasons — the coldest place in the continental United States, the home of the world’s biggest mosquitoes, and in this case, it’s own set of low-income internet rules.
Minnesota residents – if you are a low-income household or are enrolled in government
programs, like SNAP or medical assistance, you may qualify for a discount. Contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for assistance at email@example.com or 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782
All information about the Lifeline discount program can be found at www.lifelinesupport.org.
If you live at an address occupied by multiple households, you also need to complete the Household Worksheet (or the Spanish language Household Worksheet ) along with your application.
For residents of Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania must apply through the National Verifier
If you live in one of the states listed above, you have a different set of application rules. Here’s what you need to do:
Apply Online: You can apply online by going to the Lifeline National Verifier consumer portal at https://www.checklifeline.org/lifeline and creating an account. Be sure to write down the information you entered in the portal because you will have to sign up for Lifeline through Windstream exactly the way you signed up in the National Verifier, including capitalizations and abbreviations. You may find out if you qualify for Lifeline through the website immediately after applying online. If you do qualify successfully, you will receive an Approval Code Application ID (Q#). If the Lifeline National Verifer cannot prove your eligibility automatically, you will need to upload more documents to the consumer portal.
Apply by Mail: If you choose not to apply online, you can apply by mail. Visit the Lifeline National Verifier at https://www.checklifeline.org/lifeline. Select the state you live in and then click “paper form”. Fill out the form online and then print it. Please make a copy as you will need it as a reference because you will have to sign up for Lifeline through Windstream exactly the way you signed up in the National Verifier, including capitalizations and abbreviations. Then, mail in your completed Lifeline Program Application Form, Household Worksheet, and copies of your proof of eligibility to the Lifeline Support Center. The Lifeline Support Center’s mailing address is:
Lifeline Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
If you supply your email address in Section 2, the Lifeline Support Center will contact you by email to let you know if you qualify for Lifeline. Otherwise, the Lifeline National Verifier Support Center will contact you by mail to let you know if you qualify for Lifeline. You will also receive an Approval Code Application ID (Q#).
After you have been approved AND have received an Approval Code Application ID (Q#), you then need to notify Windstream in order to receive Lifeline credits on your Windstream account. To notify Windstream, please complete the Windstream Lifeline Information Form exactly as you completed the Lifeline Program Application Form that you sent to the Lifeline Support Center, including capitalizations and abbreviations. Submit the completed Windstream Lifeline Information Form for final processing to the mailing address or email address at the bottom of the form.
Once the Windstream Lifeline team successfully approves your Information form, Lifeline credits will be added to your Windstream account.
NOTE: If you live in Nebraska you will also need to fill out the Nebraska Attestation Form.
If you have questions with the National Verifier process, contact USAC at (800) 234-9473.
For residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, or South Carolina
Residents of these states (including Minnesota, which has its own application process, as we noted above)
Complete the Lifeline Program Application Form in its entirety. Please be sure to review every statement in Section 4. All nine statements must be applicable and initialed for the application to be processed. Be sure to also sign and date the application.
Include your proof of your qualifying program (award letter) or proof of income. In order to avoid third party verification, please include a copy of your unexpired driver’s license or birth certificate that confirms your date of birth and a copy of your Social Security card showing only the last four digits of your Social Security number. Other acceptable forms of proof, should you not have an ID or driver’s license, are as follows: W-2, unexpired passport, the prior year’s tax return, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization, unexpired U.S. Government, Military, State, or Tribal Issued ID or government assistance program documents (that includes proof of identity).
The requirement is that the valid form of identification shows your name, address, your correct date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Submit Completed and Signed Lifeline Program Application Form and Proof Documents to:
ATTN: Support Services-Lifeline
1720 Galleria Boulevard
Charlotte, North Carolina 28270
OR email to WCI.Life.Line.Charlotte@windstream.com
Once the Windstream Lifeline team receives your Lifeline Program Application Form and it is successfully approved, Lifeline credits will be added to your Windstream account.
Residents of Texas
Texans are quick to tell you that there’s no place like the Lone Star State. That’s especially true when it comes to applying for the Kinetic Low-Income Internet program. Here’s how to apply in Texas:
Please visit https://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/lowincome/Assistance.aspx to apply for Lifeline through the Public Utility Commission of Texas. On this website there are detailed instructions on how to apply for Lifeline as a Texas resident. Once you are approved, the state of Texas will notify Windstream and our Lifeline team will add Lifeline credits to your Windstream account.
For more information, contact:
Kinetic Low-Income Internet
Cities and states where you can find Windstream coverage
Windstream offers residential service, including the Kinetic Lifeline internet plan, in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Here are more specifics:
ALABAMA – Alabaster, Auburn, Montgomery, Northport, Opelika, Pelham, Trussville, Tuscaloosa, Wetumpka
ARKANSAS – Conway, Harrison, Little Rock, Rogers, Sherwood, Texarkana
FLORIDA – Altamonte Springs, Boca Raton, Bonita Springs, Brandon, Davenport, Daytona Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fleming Island, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Hallandale, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Jupiter, Lake City, Lake Mary, Lake Worth, Live Oak, Lutz, Melbourne, Merritt Island, Miami Beach, Mulberry, North Miami Beach, Orange Park, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm City, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverview, Saint Augustine, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Stuart, Wellington, Wesley Chapel, West Palm Beach, Windermere, Winter Park
GEORGIA – Acworth, Alpharetta, Athens, Atlanta, Austell, Canton, Chatsworth, Cleveland, Conyers, Cumming, Dacula, Dahlonega, Dallas, Dalton, Dawsonville, Decatur, Douglas, Duluth, Forest Park, Gainesville, Grovetown, Hinesville, Jackson, Jesup, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Marietta, Milledgeville, Monroe, Morrow, Moultrie, Norcross, Peachtree City, Ringgold, Roseville, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Snellville, Stockbridge, Suwannee, Thomason, Thomasville, Tucker, Warner Robins, Winder, Woodstock
IOWA – Clinton, Marion, Marshalltown, Muscatine, Ottumwa, West Des Moines
KENTUCKY – Ashland, Berea, Bowling Green, Burlington, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Florence, Glasgow, La Grange, Lexington, London, Newport, Nicholasville, Radcliffe, Richmond, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville, Somerset, Winchester
MISSISSIPPI – Bassfield, Braxton, Carson, Florence, Harrisville, Jackson, Mt Olive, New Hebron, Oakvale, Prentiss, Silver Creek, Star, Sumrall
MINNESOTA – Buffalo, Elk River, Willmar
MISSOURI – Branson, Chesterfield, Grandview, Lees Summit, Nina, Ozark, Poplar Bluff, Saint Charles, Troy
NEBRASKA – Hastings, Lincoln
NEW MEXICO – Carlsbad, Hobbs
NEW YORK – Astoria, Baldwinsville, Batavia, Brentwood, Carmel, Clifton Park, Depew, Fulton, Garden City, Hamburg, Hopewell Junction, Jamaica, Jamestown, Kingston, Liverpool, Long Island City, New York, Orchard Park, Poughkeepsie, Ronkonkoma, Sunnyside, Troy, Webster, White Plains
NORTH CAROLINA – Aberdeen, Albemarle, Ansonville, Baden, Bear Creek, Bethania, Broadway, Cameron, Carson, Charlotte, China Grove, China Grove-Landis, Clemmons, Cleveland, Columbus, Concord, Davidson, Denton, Faith, Germantown, Gibson, Gold Hill, Goldston, Granite Quarry, Green Creek, Harrisburg, Hemby Bridge, High Point, Hoffman, Hunterville, Indian Trail, Jackson Springs, Kannapolis, King, Lakepark, Landis, Laurel Hill, Laurinburg, Lemmon Springs, Lewisville, Lexington, Lilesville, Lillington, Lynwood, Locust, Lynn, Marshville, Marston, Marvin, Matthews, McFarlan, Midland, Mill Spring, Mineral Spring, Mint Hill, Misenheimer, Moncure, Monroe, Mooresville, Morven, Mount Pleasant, Mount Ulla, New Hill, New London, New Salem, Norwood, Oakboro, Old Town, Olin, Olivia, Peachland, Peachland-Polkton, Pfafftown, Pinebluff, Pineshurst, Pinnacle, Polkton, Raeford, Randleman, Red Springs, Richfield, Rockwell, Rural Hall, Rutherfordton, Salisbury, Saluda, Sanford, Southmont, Stallings, Stanfield, Stanleyville, Statesville, Thomasville, Tabaccoville, Troutman, Tryon, Wadesboro, Wagram, Waxhaw, Weddington, Welcome, Wesley Chapel, Wingate, Winston-Salem
OHIO – Ashtabula, Beachwood, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Chardonnay, Elyria, Euclid, Fairfield, Hilliard, Hudson, Lakewood, Lorain, Newark, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, North Royalton, Pickerington, Stow, Westlake, Willoughby
OKLAHOMA – Broken Arrow, Tulsa
PENNSYLVANIA – Beaver Falls, Bellefonte, Bensalem, Elizabethtown, Euphrates, Greensburg, Harleysville, Indiana, Irwin, King Of Prussia, Lancaster, Lititz, Macungie, Meadville, Media, Monroeville, Norristown, North Wales, Reading, State College
SOUTH CAROLINA – Charleston, Greenville, Greer, Inman, Irmo, Ladson, Lexington, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Piedmont, Spartanburg, Summerville, Taylors, West Columbia
TEXAS – Austin, Baluch Springs, Bedford, Bourne, Coppell, Granbury, Hubble, Huntsville, Kerrville, La Porte, McKinney, Missouri City, Richmond, Southlake, Spring, Stafford, Sugar Land, Texarkana, Webster