Arizona is the 20th most connected state and has 81 broadband providers spread across its huge, relatively empty spaces.
There are 111,000 people in Arizona with no access to broadband. No cable. No DSL. No fixed wireless. No mobile internet. Nothing.
Of the 6.7 million Arizonans, 535,000 have access to only one wired provider. Of course, that means ISP (internet service provider) can old them hostage, raise rates, or alter the terms and conditions of their contract. Because those people have no competitive options). A shocking 240,000 must cope with the inconvenience of low data caps on their home internet usage because their only choice of internet service is fixed wireless or mobile broadband.
Now let’s spend a moment discussing the state’s needy. The overall poverty rate is 18.6%. The child poverty rate is 27%. The senior poverty rate is 14%. And when it comes to the poorest of the poor, the extreme poverty rate is 8.9%.
But fear not, because CheapInternet.com knows a number of ways you can get high-speed broadband internet access at prices far cheaper than you ever imagined possible.
Low-income Internet Options
Here is the internet’s most complete list of companies and organizations that offer low-income Americans low-cost, high-speed internet access. And when we say low-cost, we’re talking about plans whose prices range from free to $14.95 per month for broadband internet. Different companies offer different prices, different types of Internet (i.e., cable, DSL or mobile), and different ways to qualify, so check them all out to see which low-income program is right for you. Click on any of the programs below to see full details on what they offer.
- Spectrum Internet Assist
- Comcast’s Internet Essentials
- Cox Low-Income Internet
- PC’s for People
- Coming soon: Lifeline Broadband
Other Low-cost Internet Options
What if you want to sign up for a cheap internet plan, but don’t qualify under the rules of the plans shown above? Or what if none of those plans are offered in your area? Luck may still be on your side, because there are other low-cost plans available for you if you know where to look. And at CheapInternet.com, we know where to look. Here’s a brief review of other low-cost options that may be available in your area.
Lifeline Broadband Pilot Programs
The Lifeline Assistance program, which offers free government cell phones to low-income Americans, has helped millions of needy Americans. The program has been so successful that the Federal Communications Commission decided to investigate the possibility of creating a similar program called Lifeline Internet or Lifeline Broadband.
Fourteen cable companies and service organizations were selected by the FCC to test pilot programs in various regions around the country. The pilot programs looked into the impact of various pricing plans, discounts, and equipment.
We expect the FCC to announce the results of the pilot programs and perhaps even announce the introduction of an official Lifeline Broadband (or Lifeline Internet) program before the end of 2014. Although you can no longer sign up nor participate in these programs, you may be interested in seeing what the future of free internet may look like in your state.
Who: Gila River Telecommunications
This pilot program conducted by Gila River Telecommunications, NeoNova Network Services, Tinhorn Consulting and Letha Lamb, tested the impact of varying subsidy amounts, access to discounted equipment and broadband speeds on adoption. Each subscriber participating in the pilot program was randomly assigned to one of five groups differentiated by price points (with subsidies ranging from $23.24 to $38.24 per month), speed and access to equipment to determine which combination of prices and services proved most attractive to consumers.
Who: Hopi Telecommunications
Hopi, in partnership with Connected Nation, tested the impact a flat subsidy of $39.95 for three different broadband service plans (with variations of speed and access to discounted equipment). The expectation was that Hopi Telecommunications would report which combination of price and service level was most effective in stimulating consumer demand.
Municipal Broadband Networks
Wikipedia defines a Municipal Broadband Network (often called Community Broadband Network) like this: “Municipal broadband deployments are broadband Internet access services provided either fully or partially by local governments. Common connection technologies include unlicensed wireless (Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks), licensed wireless (such as WiMAX), and fiber-optic. Although many cities previously deployed Wi-Fi based solutions, municipal fiber-to-the-home networks are becoming more prominent because of increased demand for modern audio and video applications.”
Unfortunately, no muni networks are currently offered in Arizona