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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.
Schools in high-poverty areas like Clarskdale, Mississippi, may offer free internet to their students. Here’s how Clarksdale High School (Mississippi) students get FREE home Internet!
PANDEMIC UPDATE: South Dakota is coordinating free internet service until June 30, 2021 for eligible households with K-12 students. In order to be eligible, you must meet all three of these criteria.
- You must have at least one student enrolled in an accredited K-12 school in South Dakota.
- You must meet the income eligibility requirements for the free/reduced school lunch program (even if you don’t participate in that program)
- You must NOT have internet services as of July 1, 2020.
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.
We’ve found low income internet from 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!
2021 UPDATE: Get $50/month discount (and $100 off a device) with the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program! Details here.
Access by AT&T starts at $5 per month.
AT&T offers a great deal on low income internet access at home and in town. In addition to your home setup, you’ll also get access to all of AT&T’s hot spots. 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!
Comcast Internet Essentials is $9.95/mo.
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. Comcast Internet Essentials is just $9.95 per month.
FEB 2021 UPDATE: Comcast has agreed to increase their download speeds to 50 Mbps and their upload speeds to 5 Mbps to better support remote learning! This change will roll out nationally on March 1st. This change will be offered to all new and existing Internet Essentials customers at no extra charge.
Charter Spectrum starts at $15/mo.
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?
Google Fiber starts at $15/mo.
The Google Fiber program isn’t as straightforward as most of the other low income internet programs we’ve discovered. Only certain homes in areas where there is a low density of internet users will qualify for this reduced rate. We’ve got the details in this post about how to get Google Fiber for just $15 per month.
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.
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!
Not interested in one of these providers? No problem!
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, so 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
Please note that 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.
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!