Kansas is not only in the middle of the nation, it’s in the middle of the pack when it comes to connectivity. It is the 28th most connected state and has 156 broadband providers.
Research shows that there are only 5,000 people in Kansas with no access to broadband. No cable. No DSL. No fixed wireless. No mobile internet. Nothing. But that’s 5,000 too many.
Of the 2.9 million Kansans, 442,000 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). Approximately 173,000 of them cope with very low data caps because they can only get internet access via fixed wireless or mobile broadband.
Kansas is also right in the middle of the pack when it comes to poverty. Its overall poverty rate is 14%. Its child poverty rate is 19%. Its senior poverty rate is 8%. And, unfortunately, its extreme poverty rate is 5.9%.
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
- Access from AT&T
- Comcast’s Internet Essentials
- Cox Low-Income Internet
- Eagle Communications
- 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.
- 4G Community
- FreedomPop Mobile Internet
- FreedomPop Home Internet
- NetZero DSL
- NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband
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.
Unfortunately, none of the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Broadband Pilot Programs were conducted in Kansas.
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.”
Here are the municipalities offering residential broadband service in Kansas:
Provider: Chanute Utilities
Services Offered: Data
Area Served: Chanute
The Chanute website says, “The City of Chanute, Kansas has built a community owned broadband network for the benefit of the community…We have a Gigabit fiber network, a Wi-Fi network, a WiMax network .In addition we operate two MPLS networks which reach to their facilities outside of our city limits into other communities.”