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Looking to save money on your Internet service? Check out CenturyLink’s Internet Basics program! Although Comcast’s low income program is way better (in my opinion), CenturyLink’s eligibility requirements allow them to help more people.
Please note that this program is now restricted to residents of Oregon, Tennessee and Washington State.
How can Internet Basics help me save money on Internet bill?
If you qualify, you can pay just $9.95 per month for Internet service! That’s almost the cheapest Internet price we’ve ever seen!
Unfortunately, this program contains quite a bit of bad news in the fine print. Here are some highlights:
A 12 month contract is required. An early termination fee of up to $200 will be assessed if you cancel early. This is one of the main reasons I prefer Comcast Internet Essentials. Comcast does not require contracts.
Activation fees apply. Installation fees may apply. (This is not true at Comcast.)
Speeds are capped at 1.5 mbps. (Comcast is faster.)
Credit approval and a deposit may be required. (Comcast service requires no deposit or credit check.)
After the first year, the price increases to $14.95/month with a $7.99/month modem lease fee. The $9.25 subsidy will continue to apply, so you could pay as little as $5.70 plus the modem fee ($13.69/month). You can only be on the program for 60 months before your eligibility is automatically terminated.
I’ve been informed by a reader that there is a lifetime limit of 5 years on this program. Once you’ve used this program for 60 months, you will no longer qualify for the reduced prices.
Once you are approved for this program, you also have the option to buy a low-cost computer. CenturyLink offers white, 16 GB Apple iPad Mini 2 tablets for $150 (plus shipping and handling), but the entire price must be paid before shipping and you have to sign a 24 month contract.
How do I qualify to save money on Internet service?
To qualify, you must meet these requirements:
- You must reside in a CenturyLink service area inside the states of Washington, Oregon or Tennesee.
- You must not be a current CenturyLink subscriber, have an unpaid CenturyLink bill or unreturned equipment.
- You must have an income that is equal to or less than 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR participate in a qualifying federal assistance program.
Qualifying federal assistance programs include:
- SNAP (Food Stamps, EBT)
- Section 8 Housing
- Free or reduced price school lunches (remember, this qualifies you for the Comcast program, too!)
- Head Start
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
- TANF or TTANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or the Tribally-Administered TANF program)
- FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance