Are you struggling to cover all of your monthly bills?
If you are on a very low income, you are likely to have to budget carefully to make ends meet. And there might not be money left over for luxuries or creature comforts.
However, having access to the internet is essential, especially if you have kids. This makes it easier for your children to do their homework and make the most of their free time.
So, let’s take a closer look at, and how to apply for…
Free Internet for Low-Income Families
People Who Qualify for Free Internet
The United States government runs a series of programs to assist families that have particularly low incomes. These programs are designed to help raise the quality of life for participants and give them access to essential services. People who qualify typically make up to 200% of the set federal poverty guidelines.
You will automatically qualify if you are enrolled in one of the following assistance programs:
- National School Lunch Program
- Public Housing
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Free Internet for K–12 Students
If you have kids at home, you can secure free internet service if you participate in the National School Lunch Program. All you need to do is reach out to a service provider and check out their list of qualifying programs. Other eligible programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Public Housing.
Free Internet for College Students
Many service providers offer special deals for students. If these deals are still outside your budget, it’s possible to take advantage of public Wi-Fi hotspots. This makes it possible to get connected and surf the net without having to pay. Most college campuses and other facilities for students offer complimentary services for enrolled students.
Free Internet for Senior Citizens
Special rates are available for people who qualify for Supplemental Security Income. A large number of service providers offer deals for older people who want to get connected at lower costs. And when you add the benefits from the Supplemental Security Income, it is possible to pay nothing at all.
New to the Internet?
Older adults who are learning to use the internet for the first time can also visit their local Senior Planet Center. Senior citizens are given free access to these dedicated social learning centers. They are great places to learn about the latest technology and pick up new skills.
Complimentary Computers for Low-Income Families
Several non-profit companies run programs that provide households in need with computers. Both PCs for People and Connect All are dedicated to offering this service. These companies accept donations and pass on the donated computers to people in need. So if you’re in desperate need of a computer but simply can’t afford it, it is worth reaching out to these companies and finding out about the available options.
The Affordable Connectivity Program
The Federal Communications Commission introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program at the end of 2021. People who enroll in the program are provided with up to $30 a month to cover their internet bills. Households who live on tribal lands are provided with up to $75 per month.
What’s this all about?
This program is offered to low-income households who want to get connected. It is designed to provide participants with a high-speed service for school, work, and healthcare needs. It helps to ensure that everyone in the United States has access to new and other essential services.
How to qualify?
This program is open to people who are also enrolled in a federal assistance program. Current members of an established low-income internet program are also very likely to qualify. This shows that you have already taken measures to prove that your household income is below the average.
In order to qualify in the beginning, you need to meet one of the following conditions:
- A household income less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
- Participate in SNAP, Lifeline, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC
- Or a tribal-specific program like Tribal TANF or the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Qualify for the National School Lunch Program
- Received a Federal Pell Grant for the current year
- Qualify for your internet provider’s low-income program
How to apply?
If you meet the criteria, you need to head on over to the Affordable Connectivity Program website. You can complete the application form online or print out the form and mail it in. Make sure you complete the application in as much detail as possible. And provide any required supporting evidence.
Once you have qualified…
You will automatically receive the designated amount each month as a service discount. You then need to reach out to a participating service provider and choose an eligible internet plan. Your discount will be applied to the monthly cost of the selected service plan.
Low-Cost Monthly Plans
Once you have secured your monthly subsidy, it can be used to reduce the cost of the monthly fee. Several leading Internet providers offer special deals for people who are on a low income.
Let’s take a look at some of the best deals around…
Internet Essentials from Comcast
This low-cost service is available to people who live in an area covered by the Xfinity service provider. Households that quality can receive download speeds of 50 Mbps with in-home Wi-Fi for just $9.95 a month. However, after applying for your Affordable Connectivity Program discount, you will not have to pay anything.
But there’s more…
After signing up for this service, you also have access to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots throughout your area. This allows you to take advantage of a fast and stable connection when you are away from home. You also have the option of purchasing a cheap computer for your family after signing up.
Access from AT&T
This low-cost service allows you to enjoy 100 Mbps download speeds free of charge. AT&T covers most areas of the United States and is known for being very reliable. After signing up for this service, you can also connect multiple mobile devices.
You will automatically qualify for this service if you are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program. And taking advantage of this dedicated service is very simple. The company’s customer service team will take care of all the details to make sure you get connected.
Spectrum Internet Assist
Spectrum runs a dedicated low-income internet program for people with various needs. The company offers the service to low-income households even if they don’t have children. In fact, this is one of the few service providers in the United States that offer affordable services for childless households.
After signing up…
You will be provided with a free modem. And the provided broadband speed is typically 30 Mbps. You can also take advantage of an additional Wi-Fi service for just $5 per month. But the best thing about this service is that there is no need to sign any contract, and there are no data caps.
Astound Broadband’s Internet First
Internet First is available to students and families who live in low-income households. It is powered by RCN, Wave, and Grande. The standard monthly charge is $9.95, which is reduced to nothing for Affordable Connectivity Program participants.
The best part?
One of the great things about this service is that the first sixty days are provided free of charge. This allows you to try the service before applying to the program. Moreover, the service is known for being fast and convenient. Plus, there is an excellent customer service team to provide assistance.
This service provider eliminates the need to sign up for a new plan in order to receive a discount. Instead, you are automatically enrolled in the Lifeline Discount Program, and your low-income discount is applied. This allows you to automatically receive up to $9.25 off the regular cost each month.
This discount is added to the standard discount, which makes the service particularly affordable. As an added bonus, the company offers some of the fastest speeds around. So, this is perfect for people who work from home. Or those that need to connect a number of devices.
Other Low-Income Assistance
If you’re already on benefits, then you may be wondering, Does Target Take WIC, Does Dollar Tree Accept EBT, Does McDonald’s Take EBT, Does Subway Take EBT, or Can You Use EBT on DoorDash? You may also be interested in a Free Divorce Lawyer for Low-Income. Simply search this site with any low-income queries you may have in 2023.
However, if you or someone you know simply cannot find a job, we have a lot more information to share. We cover everything from the earliest steps of understanding the Benefits of Having a Job. Then, when you’re ready to actively start looking again, we can support you through this too. Get answers to, How Much Does Sonic Pay, How Much Does UPS Pay, Does Walmart Pay Weekly, Does Family Dollar Pay Weekly, and much much more!
Once you’re earning, find out How to Get a Pay Stub and How To Get Your W-2 From a Previous Employer. Then you can claim your potential tax returns.
Think lack of education is holding you back?
Then why not check out these High-Paying Medical Jobs You Can Do With Little Schooling? Or What Is A Gig Economy, and how low-income individuals can also join this movement with their free connectivity benefits?
When you sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you receive a $30 monthly discount on your internet use. When you combine this discount with a low-cost service plan, you can end up paying nothing at all. However, you may need to contact a few different internet providers to find the right deal.
If you don’t find the right policy, it’s worth reaching out to different service providers. Although they don’t advertise it, many of the leading companies offer a low-income internet plan. With a little effort, you could receive high-speed internet access without paying a dime.