These Programs Could Get You Free Internet Service



Home internet service is vital for life in our modern era. The sad reality, though, is that internet service is very expensive. The average household pays $64 per month for internet. The price for internet may be too high for low-income families. If you want high speed internet and higher usage limits, the price may go up significantly. However, there are some options for finding a low-cost internet service. Some internet providers offer reduced cost or free service based on income. Also, a new Federal program makes internet service available to low-income households and individuals.

Those who qualify can find internet service at little or no cost. We’ll explain how you can find a reduced or no-cost internet program with a provider, and show you where to find information about the new government program.

Affordable Connectivity Program

In November, 2021, Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program as part of a COVID relief bill. The program was designed to replace a temporary relief program, the Emergency Broadband Benefit, created in response to the pandemic in 2020. Congress allocated $14 billion to fund the program.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit ended on December 31, 2021, and a 60-day transition period to the new program ended on February 28,2022. However, the old site remains available for informational purposes. You can find it at [1] It contains a link to the new program.

The Federal Communications Commission administers the new Affordable Connectivity Program. You can find more information about the program on the FCC website, [2]

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if it has an income of 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guideline, or if a member of the household receives one of the following Federal benefits:

  • The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
  • SNAP
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • WIC
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
  • Lifeline

A household also might qualify if a member of the household lives on qualifying tribal lands and receives one of the following Federal benefits:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal TANF
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Head Start (income based)

The FCC keeps a list of internet providers participating in the program, sorted by state. To find a participating internet provider in your area, go to the FCC website at: [3]

A T & T Internet

Low income households may qualify for the Access from AT&T program.[4] The program provides internet service for $30 per month, with free installation. There is no annual contract. Speeds of up to 100 Mbps are available in some areas.

The program is available in 21 states in the A T & T wireline footprint. There are additional charges for data usage, fees and taxes.

A family qualifying for the Affordable Connectivity Program will also qualify for the Access from A T & T program.

Otherwise, a family might qualify if it has less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline income, qualifies for SNAP, or the National School Lunch or Head Start Programs. In California, a family qualifying for Supplemental Security Income can also qualify for the Access from A T & T program.

The A T & T website explains more. [5]


Verizon participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program, and offers low-cost income households a $30 discount on internet service. A qualifying household on Tribal lands can receive up to a $75 discount.[6]

To receive the discount, you must qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program and sign up. You must also have an existing internet service. An existing Verizon plan can be converted to internet service.

You must then contact customer service at 1-800 VERIZON, or online to complete the registration process.

Related Topics (Ads):

Comcast (Xfinity)

Xfinity offers both participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program, and a service called Internet Essentials. Internet Essentials provides a simple internet plan with speeds of up to 50 Mbps for $9.95 per month. In addition, you may be able to purchase a computer through the program. The Internet Essentials program also provides free training programs [7]

To qualify, you must meet the income requirements of the program, and qualify for public assistance benefits. You must also live in a state covered by the Comcast cable system. You will have to prove eligibility every year in order to retain Internet Essentials service.

If you have both an Xfinity internet and an Xfinity mobile account, your discount will be applied first to the internet service and then to the mobile service.

Optimum Advantage Internet

Optimum Advantage Internet is a program available to senior citizens 65 or older and eligible for SSI, families with students eligible for SNAP, and veterans receiving state or Federal assistance. The plan is available to new customers or those who have discontinued their internet service for at least 60 days.[8]

The Optimum Advantage Internet service costs $14.99 per month. Subscribers receive:

  • Up to 50 Mbps internet;
  • Free installation;
  • Free Wi-Fi router;
  • No data cap;
  • No long-term contract.

Subscribers can also purchase a low-cost computer.

Search On-Line for Other Internet Choices

Low-cost internet service is available if you qualify. You can look on the FCC website to see if your internet provider participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

While the Affordable Connectivity Program replaced the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit, it is not clear whether it will become permanent. Many carriers offer other programs to help provide access at lower rates. You can search online for help. You should be able to find an affordable internet plan that will help you keep access on-line in challenging times we face.










Comments are closed.