Affordable Internet Service Options
Practically everyone uses the internet everyday. Whether for work or leisure, the internet has become a key feature of everyday life. And while the internet doesn't always come cheap, there are options out there for you to avail yourself of.
It is hard to imagine life without the internet, but for some households, internet access is too expensive. Having internet access is especially important in 2020, since the Coronavirus has resulted in so many schools and businesses shutting down. Many students and employees need an internet connection for their day to day business. There are multiple big-name internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States, including Spectrum, Comcast and CenturyLink. Many of the larger ISPs feature special discounted deals for lower income applicants. There are also several small ISPs which you may not know about that offer affordable internet plans. Detailed below are some of the best low-income internet options available in 2020.
Xfinity is one of the larger ISPs on the market, meaning it is available practically anywhere in the United States. Part of why so many households use Xfinity is the affordable price. Xfinity has several packages you can choose from, including a service plan for only $24.99 a month. This package offers 25 Mbps download speed, which is more than enough for average internet usage. If you have multiple users constantly using the internet, you can get an upgrade to 100 Mbps, with this package costing $55 a month.
If these plans are still too expensive, you may be able to qualify for the Internet Essentials plan. This plan offers the same service as the standard Xfinity package, but it only costs $9.95 per month. If you are eligible for other financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI or the National School Lunch Program, you qualify for the Internet Essentials plan.
All of the Xfinity plans do not require a contract. This means you do not have any early termination fees or other penalties to worry about if you decide you want to switch plans or go through a different ISP.
Frontier is one of the top providers of internet plans in the United States. They offer a wide array of internet plans with a variety of options. While not available in every state, Frontier internet services can be found from "Coast to Coast". Frontier has two main options when it comes to getting home internet. They have traditional internet services, with reasonable pricing, and great connectivity, but they also have FiberOptic internet options. Frontier's FiberOptic internet uses 100% fiber-optic connections where available. Frontier internet has no extra fees for internet data usage, so you aren't charged more for increased usage. Their base speed package starts at $49.99 a month and provides all the internet essentials that you need. According to the Frontier website, the base speed package might have some issues or slow downs in connection when attempting to play high performance games or make large video conference calls, and multi device connectivity can suffer as well. But their higher tier options ($59.99 a month and $79.99 a month) both offer increased speeds and more stable connectivity. Frontier is a great option for finding quality internet, without the hidden fees.
AT&T is another one of the largest ISPs in the United States. AT&T is not normally known for affordable rates. One of the ways you can cut down on costs with AT&T is by signing up for a bundled package, combining your cell plan or cable with internet. If these plans are still too expensive, you can apply for AT&T Access.
Access provides 10 Mbps speeds for a severely reduced price, costing between $5 to $10 each month, depending on location. With Access, you do not have to sign any contracts, and any installation fees are waived. In order to get Access, at least one household member must be participating in either SNAP, Head Start or the National School Lunch program. If you have any outstanding debt from the last six months with AT&T, you cannot apply for Access.
Cox has multiple affordable internet packages, but the best package for low income households is the Connect2Compete plan. This internet plan only costs $9.95 each month, providing speeds up to 15 Mbps. Like other ISPs, the qualifications were adjusted for the Coronavirus. If anyone in your household participates in SNAP, the National School Lunch Program, TANF or lives in Public Housing, you are eligible for Connect2Compete.
In addition, because of the Coronavirus, all applicants receive the first two months of Connect2Compete for free. There are also additional resources for participants who want to purchase refurbished equipment for Cox. If you do not qualify for Connect2Compete, the next affordable option is the Cox Internet Starter 10. This plan provides speeds up to 10 Mbps for $19.99 a month. Your first month is free, but you must sign a contract for at least one year of service.
Verizon Home Internet, or Verizon Fios, is another incredible home internet option. Fios, Verizon's 100% fiberoptic internet option, offers reliable internet, with great bandwith. If you are looking for internet that offers multiple device connectivity, and incredible picture quality, Verizon Fios is the option for you. Verizon Fios has great speeds, even their lowest tier plan offers 200 Mbps, which is more than enough for quality streaming of movies and shows. At $39.99 base price, Fios can be cheaper than other big brand internet options. Their 400 Mbps plan and Gigabit Connection plans start at $59.99 and $79.99 a month respectively. Verizon also offers savings bundles when you combine your mobile and home internet services, and they have several deals on streaming and gaming subscription services, all which help your dollar go further.