New Hampshire is a funny little state. Most people probably couldn’t find it on a map. Regardless of its relative anonymity, it is the 21st most connected state and home to 41 broadband providers.
There are 22,000 people in New Hampshire with no access to broadband. No cable. No DSL. No fixed wireless. No mobile internet. Nothing.
Of the 1.3 million New Hampshiremen and women, 61,000 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). Another 7,000 struggle with low data caps because their only sources of internet are fixed wireless or mobile broadband providers.
New Hampshire’s poverty rates are relatively low compared to most other states, but a nagging poverty problem still persists. The overall poverty rate is 8.7%. The child poverty rate is 16%. The senior poverty rate is 9%. And the extreme poverty rate is 4.1%.
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.
Other Low-Cost Internet Options
- Spectrum Internet Assist
- Comcast’s Internet Essentials
- PC’s for People
- Coming soon: Lifeline Broadband
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 New Hampshire.
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 is the only municipal broadband network in New Hampshire:
Provider: New Hampshire FastRoads NH Community Development Finance, Authority, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation
Services Offered: Voice, video, data
Area Served: 42 towns across New Hampshire
The FastRoads project is a collaboration of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, the thirty-four towns of the Monadnock region, and WCNH.net. It provides fiber to the premise to 233 Community Anchor Institutions in 19 towns and 1,300 homes in Rindge and Enfield, NH.