If you can afford Internet $10 per month, then you need this list of low-income Internet services to create a web site and start an online business.
Personally, I know that paying $70 or more for monthly Internet is real hardship when you’re living on a tight rural homestead/urban budget.
I just had my Internet bill lowered from $70 to $50, which include their monthly equipment fee and taxes.
It might not sound like a lot, but it adds up whether it’s leaving my purse or coming into my purse!
Note: These programs are created for low-income people who don’t have Internet service with these respective companies. So, don’t waste your time, if your income is not below the Federal Poverty Level Amount: $12,490/Single.
RuralMoney.com wants to save you money!
Free Internet would be fabulous, right?
Although I’ve found a lot of low-income Internet programs, I’ve only found a few free ones.
They’re usually very limited geographically.
You may be able to use the Internet for about an hour at your local library.
Many public libraries offer this service.
Some even let you keep the hot spot all school-year long.
Check this list to see if your local library offers a take-home mobile hot spot for FREE Internet.
Schools in high-poverty areas across the country may offer free Internet to their students.
Comcast, AT&T And More
Fortunately, many major Internet providers already provide affordable Internet programs for low-income customers.
You can choose whether you’d like service through AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast or other providers.
Of course, not all services are available in all areas; and not all programs have the same eligibility criteria.
If you don’t qualify for one program, just check another.
Access by AT&T Is The Cheapest Low-Income Internet Program
AT&T offers a great deal on low-income Internet access at home.
In addition to your home setup, you’ll also get access to all of AT&T’s hot spots, which can be used in many neIr automobiles.
Speeds range from 768 KB to 10 MB, depending on what’s available in your area.
Although it’s not exactly free Internet, Access by AT&T is just $5-$10 per month!
Of all of the programs I’ve found, Comcast Internet Essentials appears to one of the best.
Since I’m already a Comcast customer, I cannot qualify for this amazing program.
You’ll receive speeds of up to 15 Mbps with no installation fees, no credit checks, and no long-term contracts.
This program is available to low-income families, veterans, seniors, college students, and people with Section 8 housing vouchers.
Comcast Internet Essentials is just $9.95 per month. 1-855-846-8376
Comcast Internet Essentials also offers a refurbished desktop or laptop for $149 if you qualify. 1-888-234-4272
Charter Spectrum offers the fastest low-income Internet speeds.
If you live in an area served by Charter Spectrum, then you’ll want to check out their low-income Internet deal.
Are you interested in getting Charter Spectrum for just $15 per month?
The Google Fiber program isn’t widely available across the nation or as straightforward as most of the other low-income Internet programs, but it could help where it’s available.
Only certain homes in areas where there is a low density of Internet users will qualify for this reduced rate.
I’ve got the details in this post about how to get Google Fiber for just $15 per month.
Google once offered free, slow Internet through its Google Fiber program but that program has ended.
Besides, it wasn’t even really free since consumers had to pay a $300 installation fee (billed in $25 monthly payments) for seven years of access to the super-slow 5 Mbps rate.
Instead, the corporate giant now offers cheap high-speed Internet access.
For just $15, you can receive blazing fast speeds of up to 25 mbps!
For $15, you’ll receive blazing fast speeds of $25 Mbps.
This is about double the national average for Internet speed!
There is NO installation fee and NO contract, so you can cancel any time.
The downside to this service is how limited it is.
According to the Kansas City Star, “The company said that service will be available only to neighborhoods identified, using Census and Federal Communications Commission figures, as places where relatively few people have home Internet access.”
This designation is completely up to the company.
The upside to this is that Google does not require the extensive paperwork or intrusive questions asked by other cheap and low cost Internet providers.
Phillip Dampier wrote:
Google’s plan avoids the intrusive qualification requirements most phone and cable companies insist on to receive discounted Internet service. Comcast, among others, demands evidence of school-age children enrolled in the federal school lunch program, and forbids participation to current customers who manage to already scrape together enough to pay for broadband service. Google’s plan relies on a potential customer’s location and avoids income tests and paperwork, opening its program to childless couples, young singles, and seniors.
It appears that Google automatically makes certain homes eligible for this lower rate. Check your eligibility for Fiber service by clicking here!
Although those providers are fairly Ill known nationwide, there are several smaller, more localized providers that also offer low-income Internet services.
Frontier is a little more expensive, but it provides low-income Internet to 26 states, which is more than the remaining of the providers on this list.
Unfortunately, their monthly price is also more than the rest of the providers on this list.
Here’s what I know about getting Frontier Communications for just $20/month.
Mediacom serves 1,500 cities across 22 states and is a low-income Internet service provider.
For $9.95 per month, you can save money with Mediacom.
Cox Communications provides service in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Virginia.
Cox Communications’ low-income Internet service is $9.95 per month.
Altice Internet serves 13 states; and if you’re interested in a discount program for Altice, Suddenlink Internet or Optimum Internet service, then you’re looking for Altice Internet Advantage.
It’s a great program for families and seniors–$9.95 per month.
Eagle Communications provides low-income Internet service in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.
Low-income Internet service is $9.95 per month.
CenturyLink Internet Basics is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
CenturyLink quietly ended their Internet Basics program in 2017.
They chose not to announce the change and instead quietly scrubbed their web site of any mention of the program.
According to the customer service representative I spoke to, they have replaced Internet Basics with the pre-paid Simple Pay option.
According to the representative, SIMPLEPAY Internet is a month-to-month service, which may be cancelled at any time and requires monthly pre-payment with a credit/debit card.
Service will begin on the date your Service order completes.
Each prepaid billing cycle is 30 days with service automatically renewing monthly until you cancel.
Prepaid payments for unused service will not be refunded or credited to account.
POSTPAID Price for Life Internet can be bundled with DIRECTV and/or Price for Life Home Phone.
There are no activation fees or contract.
Services and equipment are NOT paid in advance.
Keep your rate as long as you keep your plan at your current address.
When pressed about prices, they responded, “It can range, depending on the speed of Internet available at your residency with the lowest being $45 a month.”
This is NOT a low-income option and NOT a viable alternative to the discounted Internet Basics program… so be careful if you contact CenturyLink!
Not interested in one of these providers?
You may be able to save $9.25 off your monthly Internet bill by applying for the Lifeline subsidy!
This subsidy pays $9.25 directly to your Internet provider, thereby reducing your bill.
It’s important to realize that you can only get one Lifeline subsidy per household.
Therefore, you’ll have to decide whether to use this as a free Internet discount or to get a free cell phone.
You qualify for this subsidy if you receive any of the following:
· Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka SNAP, Food Stamps, EBT)
· Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
· Federal Public Housing Assistance
· Tribal-specific programs
· Income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
· Veterans Pensions
· Veteran’s Survivor Benefits
Rural Money Note: The broadband low-income program has been under attack in the current political environment and has suffered some cut backs. The information isn’t always clear on the FCC site, but you’ll want to discuss this option with your ISP to see if it is available in your area and from your provider.
Statistically, low-income households are less likely to have Internet service or useful technology in their homes.
That’s understandable because these services and devices are typically very expensive.
Unfortunately, it also traps these households in a low-income cycle.
It’s hard to increase your income when you can’t apply for jobs, take online courses or finish your homework.
That’s why these low-income Internet services are so critically important to American households.
In 2017, Pew Research found that 30% of households with incomes less than $30,000 per year did not have a smartphone.
They also found that two thirds of adults in high-earning households had home broadband Internet, a smartphone, and either a desktop, laptop or tablet device.
Only 17% of low-income household had the same things.
A lack of sufficient Internet access can make it more difficult to get a job, more difficult to get good grades and impossible to participate in online college classes.
And, it’s impossible to create a website to start an online business of your passion.
There are many benefits to having Internet access in your home… and that’s why I am dedicated to finding low-income Internet programs (and as many free Internet programs as I can find) for visitors.
Nicole Thelin, Author
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com bringing you the best of my knowledge, skills, abilities, tips and resources. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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