If you need low income Internet services, then you need this list of free internet and low income internet services! We know that paying $80 or more toward your monthly internet bill can be a real budget-buster when you’re living on a tight budget. We’ve been there. We’ve lived it. And we’ve found help! Keep reading below for details!
We’ve found FREE Internet programs!
Free internet would be fabulous, right? Although we’ve found a lot of low income internet programs, we’ve only found a few free ones. They’re usually very limited geographically.
Some libraries offer FREE mobile hotspots you can take home.
You may be able to literally check out the internet from your local library! We’ve found many libraries that 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.
Some schools offer FREE internet services, too.
There are hundreds of schools across the United States that offer free internet to their students to ensure that they are able to do their school work.
We’ve been able to confirm this program at the schools listed below.
- Arizona – Agua Fria Union High School District,
- California – Stockton USD
- Kansas – Kansas City Public Schools
- Mississippi – Clarksdale High School
- New York – New York City Community Schools
If you don’t see your school listed above, contact them to see if they currently offer or would consider offering a similar program!
Some areas are introducing free internet for low income residents.
With an increasing need for stable, high-quality internet connections, some areas are branching out and providing low income access.
Marin County, California, just announced that they will be introducing Free Neighborhood WiFi. This program will provide two years of internet services for up to 300 low income households, with a focus on providing the internet to low income students.
Brookline, Massachusetts is served by Tech Buddies. This organization is helping low income seniors and disabled people receive free tablets and/or free internet service for one year!
Washington DC‘s NoMa area has free outdoor WiFi as well!
Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program!
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a new low income internet program that helps low income households afford broadband internet access. This benefit provides up to $30 per month toward the internet service for the households. If you live on Tribal lands, the benefit is up to $75 per month!
You may be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if you have a household income that is 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines OR if at least ONE member of your household participates in at least ONE of the programs listed below:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps, EBT)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- National School Lunch Programs
- National School Breakfast Programs
- Federal Pell Grant (current award year)
- Tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations
If you are eligible, there’s a two-step process to apply. you must go to ACPBenefit.org to submit your application (or print and mail an application). Then, once you approved, you must contact your preferred internet provider and select a plan. The ACP Benefit discount will be applied to your monthly bill.
You may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. You will need to pay between $10 and $50 for the device in order to use the discount.
How long does it take to get the Affordable Connectivity Program? Not long at all! You should receive a response within 48 hours of applying.
Get FREE Internet from Major ISPs!
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 from AT&T starts at $5 per month! (FREE with ACP!)
Access from AT&T experienced a huge upgrade after the announcement of the Affordable Connectivity Program! Depending on the speeds available in your area and your personal preferences, you can receive internet for either $5, $10 or $30 per month through this program. Use your ACP benefits with this program and get completely free internet through Access from AT&T!
Comcast Internet Essentials is $9.95/mo. (FREE with ACP!)
Comcast Internet Essentials is FREE when you use your Affordable Connectivity Program benefits! When you use ACP, you can get Internet Essentials PLUS for free, which provides speeds of up to 100 Mbps!
Of all of the programs I’ve found, Comcast Internet Essentials is my favorite. You’ll receive speeds of up to 50 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. Get the details.
Spectrum Internet Assist is $17.99/mo. (FREE with ACP!)
If you live in an area served by Spectrum, then you’ll want to check out their low income internet deal. Are you interested in getting Charter Spectrum for just $17.99 per month?
Google Fiber is FREE for select customers.
The Google Fiber program isn’t as straightforward as most of the other low income internet programs we’ve discovered. Google offers a free Gigabit Internet for Select Affordable and Public Housing program. This program is only available for customers who live in specific public housing and affordable housing properties. If you are eligible, you can get 1GB upload and download speeds for free, with no contracts, no construction fees and no installation fees.
There are other low income internet providers, too!
Although those providers are fairly well known nationwide, there are several smaller, more localized providers that also offer low income internet services.
Frontier Internet is $20/mo.
Frontier 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 we know about getting Frontier Communications for just $20/month.
Mediacom Cable is $10/mo.
Mediacom serves 1,500 cities across 22 states. If you’d like to save money on Mediacom internet service, you’ll want to read what we learned about getting Mediacom for just $9.95 per month.
Cox Communications is $10/mo.
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. If you’re low income in that area, check out this post about how to get Cox Communications for just $9.95.
Altice Internet Advantage is $10/mo.
If you’re interested in a discounted 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. Altice Internet Advantage is just $9.95.
Eagle Communications is $10/mo.
Eagle Communications provides low income internet service in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. We’ve got all the details and an application so you can get Eagle Communications for just $9.95 per month.
Starlink Services intend to offer low income internet.
In a recent SpaceX filing, it was revealed that Starlink Services intends to join the Lifeline subsidy program. Their statement said: “Starlink Services currently has no Lifeline customers because only carriers designated as an ETC can participate in the Lifeline program,.” However, they also added that they “will provide Lifeline to qualifying low income consumers” when they can.
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 website 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, Breiya E.:
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, Breiya 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!
Why is low income internet so important?
Statistically, low income households are less likely to have internet service or useful technology in their homes. That’s understandable because these things 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. There are many benefits to having internet access in your home… and that’s why we’re dedicated to finding low income internet programs (and as many free internet programs as we can find) for our readers!