There are several ways to get free internet or cheap plans from either the government or the private sector today so you can access a better future. The government programs work just like the Free Government Cell Phone system or the Lifeline Program. On the other hand, some popular companies also have free offers, along with some smaller independent brands who are trying to extend help.
How to Qualify for Free Internet and Discounted Internet
Applying for Free Internet is pretty straightforward and the requirements are the same with the Lifeline Free Cell Phone Program. If you qualify for certain aid programs, then you are most likely to avail of this invaluable service. If you have any of these, then you can use your credentials for some of the free internet services out there:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- National Free School Lunch Program
- SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)
- Federal Public Housing (Section 8)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- State-Specific Aid or Benefits Programs
- WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
- VA Pension (Veterans)
- Head Start or Early Head Start
It’s important to note that some big companies that offer discounted internet services will only accept users of the National Free School Lunch Program (NSLP). This means that your household must have at least one child who receives free school lunches from the government.
Applying is as simple as calling a service provider or going to the link of a specific company which we will provide below. You don’t have to go to a storefront or an office to get the service, but the burden of proving that you are qualified is on you.
Benefits of Free Internet and Discounted Internet at Home
An Internet connection will open more doors of opportunity now that we are in the digital age where everything can be done online. You can attend school, work remotely, and even find your loved ones on the world wide web. It’s also the perfect time to get this kind of benefit for your household due to the pandemic where studying or working indoors is a preferred and safer alternative.
Having free internet or discounted internet will not be a big burden for your finances as well. But you get access to more helpful materials and media so you can improve your qualifications and eventually, your quality of life. A large chunk of the global population still does not have access to the internet, so this is a blessing in disguise for Americans who are struggling in their day-to-day lives.
Is it Really Free Internet?
The quickest answer is both yes and no since you can get free internet without monthly charges, but you have to shell out some cash for the hardware. Some companies require you to pay for the modem and router, but that’s a one-time payment that you need to get out of the way. Some of the plans that require monthly payments don’t ask for much, so in a way, you still spend less than the regular consumer.
A program called Connect-to-Compete exists to help the less fortunate in getting high-speed internet. This service is available in all fifty states with top-ranking companies providing it at a cost of only $9.95 per month. You can also reduce that $9.95 cost to more or less nothing by qualifying for the Emergency Broadband Program which subsidizes the fees for qualified households.
Free Internet and Discounted Internet Services
Here are the available Free Internet and Discounted Internet services as of this time (August 8. 2021)
Internet Essentials offers $9.95 plans with up to 50mbps speeds for qualified users along with low-cost computers from Dell. They even support the Emergency Broadband Program which grants free internet service which will also cover the already discounted $9.95 monthly fees. You only have to use your federal assistance qualifications to apply, but take note that you need to shoulder taxes and other necessary extra fees.
Access by AT&T offers 25Mbps home internet and Wi-Fi for $10 without any annual contracts, deposits, or installation fees. They use SNAP, SSI (CA residents), Income, and NSLP or Head Start programs as requirements for qualification. Like the option above, Access also supports The Emergency Broadband Program which can make your internet completely free if you qualify.
Cox Connect2Compete opens opportunities for learning and jobs by offering $9.95 50mbps internet plans for eligible Americans. Your household needs to have at least one K-12 student and participation in government assistance programs such as SNAP to qualify. They also offer low-cost computers from PCsforPeople so you can utilize their cheap internet to its full potential.
Freedom Pop offers a “Freemium” plan with unlimited WiFi calling, plus affordable plans with different denominations of call minutes, texts, and LTE Data. It’s available in all fifty states, but signal coverage will vary depending on your area. The Freemium plan works great if you only log in to check emails, but we suggest getting the discounted subscriptions if you are using it for homeschooling, remote work, or general browsing.
NetZero provides Free internet with up to 10 hours of usage a month, but you can also opt for the discounted plans for faster speeds. The company has Dial-Up, mobile, and home internet plans that will fit your needs and budget. Their coverage isn’t nationwide, but they are available in most major cities and states indicated on this map.
School2Home aims to reduce the digital gap in California middle schools by offering computers and broadband services for teaching and learning. It’s available in some schools belonging to the low-performing category, but parents can also apply for a home connection. Take note that School2Home isn’t a government program, but rather, it’s an initiative that’s funded by private companies and foundations.