What are the best internet options for low income households?
While there are ways to receive reductions in internet fees due to a low income, there are many low-cost internet connection plans available that may still fit within your budget - making the application for such support unnecessary.
Whilst doing our research, we came across the following US internet service providers who offer modestly priced internet plans:
- XFINITY: Xfinity plans are relatively inexpensive, especially when it comes to their bundle packages. If you need both a high-speed connection and an excellent TV service, for example, then the package deal works out to be an unbeatable bargain.
- Charter Spectrum: Slightly more expensive than XFINITY, Charter Spectrum’s advantage is that it offers contract-free plans without data caps. So, when your income is limited, then you can cancel the service with no penalty fees attached.
- CenturyLink: While CenturyLink’s speeds may not always be up to par with other players, their packages are a little easier on the pocket.
- HughesNet: With limitations on HughesNet’s technology, you’ll have to deal with a data cap and slightly slower speeds – but for the low rates, that’s OK.
These are some of the cheapest ISP providers in the US. However, if none of these options are going to work for you, then you may want to consider looking into low income assistance plans.
Low-Income Assistance Plans from Internet Providers
Many ISPs offer their own private low-income assistance programs. This is their way of ensuring that everyone gets a chance to access the internet. To qualify for such programs, you may need to meet income requirements. Some providers will also have other terms that you will need to meet before being accepted into a program – these terms will vary between companies.
The following American internet service providers offer reasonable low-income internet plans:
- AT&T –10 Mbps for $5 to $10 pm
- Mediacom –10 Mbps for $9.95 pm
- Cox – 15 Mbps for $9.95 pm
- Spectrum – 30 Mbps for $14.99 pm
- Xfinity – 15 Mbps for $9.95 pm
However, before you apply for a low-income plan from one of the providers, you may be interested to know that the government also offers internet access assistance through its own program called “Lifeline”.
Lifeline – A Government-Assisted Low-Income Internet Program
Lifeline is a government-incentivised program that provides a monthly phone or internet discount to eligible low-income applicants. Qualifying participants will receive $9.25 per month for either a phone or internet bill (but not both). This incentive is limited to one user per household.
To qualify, your income needs to be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
To prove your income, you will be requested to submit one or more of the following:
- A recent income statement from your employer
- A divorce decree or a child support award
- A federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- A paycheck stub
- Your state, federal or Tribal tax return from the previous year
- A social security statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation state of benefits
If you qualify, you simply choose an internet service provider in your area, submit your forms and, if approved, you reap the benefits.
How to Get Free Internet
Very few things in life are absolutely (no strings attached) free – except for free Wi-Fi hotspots! Many ISPs have made free Wi-Fi hotspots available in public spaces. These hotspots can be found at the likes of shopping malls, parks, and train stations. Keep in mind, with so many users logging on at once, the connection may be spotty and slow – but always better than nothing!
Are you looking for a low-income internet plan?
If you don’t plan on hanging around the mall for hours on end for free Wi-Fi, then we can help you to shop for a low-income deal for your household. We can help you to compare internet
providers so that you can find cheap deals that fit your requirements for speed and consistency. We believe that everyone has the right to access the internet – and we’re here to assist you.