Having an internet connection for your home has changed from being a luxury to being a necessity. Almost everything is done online nowadays, from paying your bills, scheduling an appointment with your doctor, or even making a job application.
According to Leichtman Bruce, who is the principal analyst of Leichtman Research Group, it is tough for low-income families to be able to afford home internet since the average internet price per month is about $60.
This article will guide you on how to get free internet for low income seniors through government assistance and income-based programs that offer affordable internet for low-income, seniors, students, and families.
How Government Internet Assist Works
There are several options that you can use for low-income internet. Affordable Connectivity Program is one of the best low-income options. It offers up to $30 off in a month and up to $75 a month for those who live on the tribal lands. Depending on where you are located in the United States, you can enjoy an internet plan that is as low as $19.9 in a month.
To be in a position to save more money, it is recommended that you check from the internet options that have been in existence for a long time since you can use your ACP benefits to double up the programs. The first option that you should consider is a government program that is called Lifeline.
How to Qualify for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
You may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if you’re already enrolled in a low-income internet program or the federal aid programs. In order to be eligible, the FCC demands that you fulfill at least one of the following conditions:
- The income for your household falls below or equals to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
- You are eligible for government assistance such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Public Housing Assistance, Medicaid, Social Security Income, WIC, SSI, or Lifeline.
- You are a participant of a government-administered program such as Tribal TANF.
- You are eligible for the NSLP.
- You’ve received a Federal Pell Grant for the current award year.
- You’ve been granted a Federal Pell Grant for the year award.
- You qualify for your participating internet provider’s existing low-income program.
How to Get Free Internet for Low-income Families
Lifeline program offers a discount of $9.25 every month for both phone and internet services to low-income seniors, students, and families. It provides fewer discounts than most internet providers or ACP, but it is better than having nothing.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched an Affordable Connectivity Program at the end of 2021 to assist low-income families in obtaining internet for work, healthcare needs, and school.
For qualifying homes, it provides up to $30 every month internet service credit and up to $75 every month for households on the tribal lands.
Lifeline Assistance Vs Internet Provider Initiatives;
|Providers||Discounted Provider Prices||Lowest Price With Lifeline Assistance|
As you can see from the table above, there are several internet providers initiatives that have some discounted rates, and some of them go to as low as $9.95 every month.
Many of them are mainly for the low-income families who have kids that qualify for the NSLP program, although the qualifications vary depending on the provider. By the look, the low-income ISP plans are good, although very few homes qualify.
Government Lifeline Providers and Internet Plans
ACP Benefit provides $30 per month internet for individuals who qualify. To get $30 off monthly internet, go to ACPBenefit. You may apply online or print, fill out, and mail in your application to the ACP Support Center. To take advantage of your ACP discount, you’ll need to contact your participating provider and choose an eligible internet plan.
|Provider low-income initiative||Price||Download speeds up to||Qualifying Programs|
|Cox Connect2Complete||$9.95/mo||50 Mbps||HUD, NSLP, SNAP, TANF|
|Mediacom Connect-2-Compete||$9.95/mo||25 Mbps||NSLP|
|Internet First(RCN, Grande, Wave)||$9.95/mo||50 Mbps||Federal pell Grant, HUD, NSLP, SSI, WICVA, Pension, TANF|
|Internet Essentials from Comcast (Xfinity)||$9.95/mo||50Mbps||Federal pell Grant, HUD, NSLP, SSI, WICVA, Pension, TANF|
|Access from AT&T||$10.00/mo||25Mbps||SNAP, SSI|
|Altice Connect||$14.99/mo||50Mbps||NSLP, SSI|
|Spectrum Internet Assist||$14.99/mo||30Mbps|
|Verizon lifeline||$19.99 – $69.99/mo||200Mbs-940/880Mbps||Lifeline|
How to Get Free Internet Programs for Low-income
If you fail to qualify for an Affordable Connectivity Program, or if you can and may want to stack discounts, explore these plans that may be a good fit for your requirements.
1. Low-income households get free internet
There are a few low-income internet options that focus on connecting kids to beneficial online resources. As such, you’ll need to have a school-age kid at home. If you don’t have any school-age children, you may still be able to get inexpensive internet service.
Anyone who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can enroll in Internet Essentials and Spectrum Internet Assist from Comcast.
2. K–12 students get free internet
If you have kids at home and participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Public Housing, there are a few more internet-saving alternatives open to you.
3. College students get free Internet access
Look into free public WiFi hotspots and internet services with free introductory periods if you’re a college student. If you live in Illinois or Colorado, you may be eligible for Internet Essentials from Comcast if your financial aid office has documentation.
4. Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Canadian government initiative that was created to help make high-speed Internet more affordable for low-income households. The program provides a monthly subsidy of up to $9.99 for households that qualify, which can be used to help cover the cost of Internet service.
The program is available to households that have an annual income of less than $30,000, and is open to both renters and homeowners.
5. The FCC Lifeline internet subsidy
The lifeline is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) government-sponsored program. This program benefits individuals who live below the federal poverty guidelines, stay in tribal land, or participate in federal assistance programs.
This program also offers $9.25 every month to those homes that have an income that is equal to or less than 135% of federal poverty guidelines.
The FCC Lifeline Providers, And Cheapest Internet Packages;
|Providers||Cheapest package speed||Introductory Price||Lifeline Assistance|
|Verizon Fios||200 Mbps||$39.99/mo||$19.99/mo|
From the above article, you must have noticed that the lifeline assistance prices are higher than the ISP services for low-income households. Do not ignore the lifeline because it provides you with the internet if you do not qualify for the other programs.
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