Good internet is something you may take for granted. Your location determines prices, availability, choice of ISP, speeds and more. If you’re in a densely populated urban area, you will have no shortage of options.
People who live in rural areas are among the last customers to get service upgrades and are often left with slow connection speeds. Satellite service is one option, though it can be pricey and typically won’t be as fast as other networks. For those with money to burn, there’s SpaceX’s Starlink satellite kit. Tap or click here to learn more about this expensive internet service.
There are options for cheaper internet, such as basic plans with limited speeds and data. But even this may be too much for people on a budget. There are programs for more affordable or even free internet service for these cases. Keep reading to see if you qualify.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was launched in 2021 to help people get affordable broadband. The initiative provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.
The program was replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and the benefits were updated to include the following:
- Up to a $30 per month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals.
- Up to a $75 per month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands.
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.
To be eligible for the ACP, a member of your household needs to meet certain criteria, including income levels, participation in other benefit programs and more. Tap or click here for our detailed report on the ACP.
Individual ISPs are adjusting their offerings that can bring internet bills down to zero when combined with the ACP.
- ACP lowers the cost of internet service by $30 per month, which makes the new $30 Access from AT&T plan free for eligible customers.
- All households that qualify for ACP will also qualify for the Access from AT&T program. Once approved, call AT&T at 855-220-5211.
- You can combine the ACP benefits with other AT&T programs. Tap or click here for more information.
- With Comcast’s Internet Essentials and Internet Essentials Plus, you can apply your $30 ACP credit for free internet service.
- Go to internetessentials.com/apply to see if you are eligible for Internet Essentials.
- Once approved for ACP, complete the National Verifier form.
- Complete the Xfinity Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment form.
- You can apply ACP credit to your current or new Spectrum internet package.
- Spectrum also works with Lifeline, which grants subsidized internet and/or phone service based on your location and financial situation.
- You can combine discounts from different programs for your Spectrum service.
- After applying for eligibility through the National Verifier, you can complete Spectrum’s online application form.
T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile
- New and existing eligible Metro by T-Mobile customers can get free wireless service with high-speed smartphone data OR get up to $30 off on all of Metro by T-Mobile’s smartphone plans.
- New and existing customers can get approved for the ACP through the National Verifier and then visit a Metro by T-Mobile store to apply the discount to your service.
- Existing customers who are approved by the National Verifier can also apply for the discount by going to metrobyt-mobile.com and My Account.
Verizon (Fios, 5G Home and mobile customers)
- Through Fios Forward, Fios customers who qualify for the ACP can now receive free internet.
- 5G Home and mobile customers can also receive discounts via ACP.
- To qualify, you must first be approved for ACP and have a Fios Mix & Match plan. Once your service is active and are approved for ACP, you can call 1-800-VERIZON to have the Fios Forward discount applied.
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