It’s no longer a question of whether or not you need internet service at home — it’s a necessary utility in the modern world. Unfortunately, the average internet bill is $64 per month, which can be inaccessible for low income individuals and families.¹ And depending on your desired internet speed and usage limits, that number can increase drastically. Fortunately, there are options when it comes to the internet. Some companies offer internet service for little to no cost based on your income.
Those who meet the proper criteria can save a significant amount of money on their internet bill. You can find out which providers have these types of internet plans with a search online.
Here are some programs that could help you afford internet service.
Government Internet Programs
There’s good news for those who are relying on the government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity Program. The program provides eligible households with $30 per month off of their internet bills and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a tablet, desktop computer, or laptop.2
To qualify for the ACP benefit, you must meet one of the following three requirements:
- Your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Policy Guidelines
- You meet the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income programs.
- You or someone in your household already participates in a qualifying federal assistance program.
Qualifying applicants can receive major savings on high speed internet through Xfinity. The Internet Essentials service is provided through the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit. You can receive a temporary subsidy that covers up to $50 per month for Xfinity internet. Those in Tribal lands can receive up to $75 per month.3
You’re eligible to apply if you qualify for programs such as:4
- National School Lunch Program;
- Housing assistance;
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and;
- Federal Pell Grant.
In addition to the internet, this plan gives you xFi Advanced Security, access to millions of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, and even the option to buy a low-cost computer. To qualify, you must live in an area where Comcast Internet Service is available. The level of subsidy you receive will depend on your internet service plan. This money is put towards the actual internet service and leased internet equipment.
Optimum Advantage Internet
For just $14.99 per month, you can receive speedy internet service with Optimum Advantage Internet.5 This offer is available to new Optimum customers or those who disconnected internet service for a 60-day period.
With Optimum Advantage Internet, you’ll get:
- Up to 50 Mbps internet;
- Free installation;
- Free Wi-Fi router;
- No data caps, and;
- No long-term contracts.
There are multiple groups that qualify for Optimum Advantage Internet. This includes:
- Households with students participating in the National School Lunch Program;
- Seniors 65 years of age or older and eligible for SSI, and;
You can potentially receive this internet service for free through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Qualifying individuals can receive a monthly subsidy of up to $50 toward their internet services.
Low-Cost AT&T Internet
Low income individuals can enjoy up to 25 Mbps speed internet at an affordable rate with Access from At&T. The internet provider offers service for $10 per month or less, depending on the maximum speed available in your area.6 The company offers free installation for your Wi-Fi, no annual contract, and no deposit.
Another perk of being an AT&T customer is waived overage fees. The company is temporarily waiving home internet data overage fees due to the ongoing health crisis. Find out how long this incentive is going on for by searching online or speaking with an AT&T customer service representative.
To qualify for the Access from AT&T program, you will need to be eligible for one of the following four programs:
- Supplemental Nutritional Access Program;
- Supplemental Security Income (for California residents only);
- Household income (temporary), and;
- National School Lunch and Head Start Programs (temporary).
Search Online for More Ways to Get Free Internet
Everyone should have affordable access to high speed internet. This utility is necessary for school, work, streaming media, and just about everything else. If you’re unable to pay your monthly internet bill, it’s worth looking into help from the government or directly from internet providers.
Whichever internet provider you choose, make sure to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This government initiative could temporarily help pay your entire internet bill on a monthly basis. Find out if you qualify and submit an application online.
While some subsidies may be temporary, there’s also low monthly internet rates that you may be able to sign up for with companies like AT&T or Optimum Advantage Internet. Find out if you’re eligible for various internet options by searching online. You can choose a plan that best meets your needs and gets you through tough economic times.