Cheap broadband internet plans have been created by public-private partnerships, to bring high-speed, wireless internet access to those on government assistance such as disability benefits, or who have low-income.
There are still 64.5 million (U.S.) people without a connection to the Internet and that figure hits hardest on those with the lowest incomes. The biggest reason these Americans don't sign up for broadband today is cost. Only half of all households in the lowest income tier subscribe to a broadband service and 43 percent say the biggest reason for not subscribing is the cost of the service. Of the low income consumers who have subscribed to mobile broadband, over 40 percent have to cancel or suspend their service due to financial constraints. Affordability remains the primary barrier to broadband adoption - (https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-16-38A1.txt)
Meaning and Difference Between 3G, 4G and 4G LTE
First up, lets define some of the terms you are likely to come across when researching Internet providers - as well as cell phone carriers.
What is 3G?
3G simply means the third generation network. The 3G network was the first technology with sufficient speed to provide a decent user experience on a smartphone. Whilst 3G is fairly effective when it comes to giving users mobile access to the internet, and is a vast improvement over previous 2G technology, it is still far from perfect.
What is 4G?
4G means the fourth generation network. 4G is often5 to 10 times faster than 3G in real-world use, with speeds between 20 Megabits per second (Mbps) and 50Mbps. New 4G technologies such as "Carrier Aggregation", where your smartphone connects to multiple cellular frequencies at once, provides even faster speeds in certain areas.
What Does LTE Mean?
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. 4G was made to replace 3G and offers a more reliable connection delivering much higher speeds data transfer. Specifically, 4G LTE means "fourth-generation long term evolution," with LTE being a type of 4G that delivers the fastest connection for a mobile internet experience.
What is Mobile Broadband?
Older 3G wireless Internet technology delivered slow Internet speeds in comparison to traditional DSL and cable Internet connections. However, today's wireless Internet technology including 4G LTE delivers mobile broadband speeds equivalent and even faster than DSL and cable. Today, mobile broadband Internet connectivity can replace existing home Internet broadband.
3G - 4G Compatibility:
A 3G phone is not compatible with a 4G network, however newer generations of cellphones are nearly always designed to be backward compatible, so a 4G phone can communicate through a 3G - or even 2G network.
What is Wireless Internet?
Unlike DSL and Cable Internet technology that require physical at home or at the office connections, wireless Internet technology, including LTE allows Internet access anywhere, anytime, with any device. Connect your desktop, iPad, iPhone, laptop or any device wirelessly, ensuring Internet access no matter where your life takes you. Whether you need to connect to the Internet from home, the office, coffee shop, hotel, or even at the bar, wireless Internet technology will connect you.
List of Affordable Home Internet Services
As part of a pilot program by Internet Essentials, eligible seniors can access affordable Internet at home and receive free computer and Internet training classes. This Senior pilot program is being offered on a trial basis in Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; Fresno County, California; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Palm Beach County, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Francisco, California; Santa Clara County, California; and Seattle, Washington - Further information available at: https://internetessentials.com/seniors
FreedomPop is a new player in the mobile phone space and relies on towers from big players like Sprint to ensure reliable nationwide coverage. FreedomPop provides disruptive mobile services including the world's first 100% free mobile plan so that no one is left off the "connected grid." Founded in 2012, FreedomPop is rewriting the rules of the global telecoms industry accelerating the convergence of Internet models and technology with traditional Telecom. Further information available at: https://www.freedompop.com
Spectrum Internet TM Assist
Man sitting at desk using a tablet computer
Spectrum believe that everyone should have access to reliable, high-speed Internet at an affordable price. To qualify for Spectrum Internet Assist, a member of the household must be a recipient of either; The National School Lunch Program (NSLP); free or reduced cost lunch; The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the NSLP; Or Supplemental Security Income ( ≥ age 65 only). Through the Spectrum Internet Assist program, qualified households can receive:
- No contracts required
- Internet modem included
- Add in-home WiFi for $5 more per month
- High-speed 30 Mbps Internet with no data caps
Further information available at: https://www.spectrum.com/browse/content/spectrum-internet-assist.html
Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications
Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. Lifeline provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone service purchased from participating providers in the marketplace. Subscribers can also purchase discounted broadband Internet from participating providers. The discounts, which can be applied to stand-alone broadband, bundled voice-broadband packages - either fixed or mobile - and stand-alone voice service - will help ensure that low-income consumers can afford 21st-century broadband and the access it provides to jobs, education and opportunities.
Further information available at: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/lifeline-support-affordable-communications
Midco Lifeline Assistance
Midco Lifeline Assistance is a federal program intended to put home phone and internet service within the reach of qualifying families – giving low-income households affordable home phone or internet access. This isn't a promotion or special offer. If you reside in a state where Midco is an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) and Midco services are available at your home address, you may be eligible for this program.
Further information available at: https://www.midco.com/lifeline or call 1.800.888.1300
Eagle Communications’ Broadband Division strives to be the leader in economic revitalization in the rural American communities they serve, dedicated to bringing relevant information, entertainment and broadband services to the people, businesses and families. With a variety of options to fit your budget, Eagle Communications is your whole home solution for internet, TV, and phone. Let Eagle Communications power your home internet and start enjoying faster speeds today.
Further information available at: https://eaglecom.net
California School2Home Internet Program
The Mission of School2Home is to close the Achievement Gap and Digital Divide at low-performing California middle schools by integrating the use of computing and broadband technologies into teaching and learning. School2Home program offers free computers and home internet to California students, and is currently active in 12 districts and 31 schools. School2Home is an initiative of the California Emerging Technology Fund, a public benefit foundation established in 2007 by the California Public Utilities Commission to close the state’s Digital Divide.
Further information available at: https://www.school2home.org
EveryoneOn is a U.S. national nonprofit that creates social and economic opportunity by connecting everyone to the internet. Spurred by a challenge from the Federal Communications Commission to help connect all people in the United States, EveryoneOn began in 2012 as a public awareness campaign and digital inclusion pilot. They work to connect people living in the United States to low-cost home internet service, affordable computers and tablets, and digital literacy training. Since 2012, they have connected over 600,000 people in 48 states - with the goal to connect one million people by 2020.
Further information available at: https://www.everyoneon.org
CenturyLink High-Speed Internet
Fast In-Home WiFi. Experience the ultimate WiFi connection to fast Internet throughout your entire home. CenturyLink In-home WiFi gives you a wireless Internet experience, allowing you to connect multiple devices to your home network. You'll have the speed and range to stream, game and upload with ease.
Further information available at: https://www.centurylink.com/home/
Cox Low-Cost, Home Internet with WiFi
Cox opens a world of opportunity for families that have a K-12 student and receive government assistance with low-cost, home internet for only $9.95 per month. Applicants must meet and verify the following requirements:
- Have at least one K-12 student living in the household
- Participate in one of the following: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), SNAP, TANF pr Public Housing
Eligible families can apply online at: https://www.cox.com/aboutus/connect2compete.html or by calling 1-855-222-3252.
With up to 1,000 megabits per second, do whatever you want, whenever you want. Whether you’re broadcasting live, uploading your photos, sharing huge files, or video chatting in HD, our symmetrical upload and download speed gives you all the power you’ll need and then some. No installation fees, rental fees, or hidden fees of any kind. Choose the plan that’s best for you without worry. Google Fiber is currently available in:
Further information available at: https://fiber.google.com/about/
PCs for People
PCs for People provides affordable computers and low-cost internet eligible individuals and nonprofits. Laptops start at $100 and Desktops start at $75. As a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, they are able to provide computers with licensed copies of Windows 10. The same proof of eligibility you provide for internet can be used to get a laptop or desktop. Through Mobile Beacon, PCs for People’s users will be able to use an unlimited 4G LTE data-only plan with no data caps or throttling. The data plan is subject to a network management policy. They also offer:
- Low-Cost Mobile Internet
- Affordable Computer Repair
- Refurbished Desktop & Laptop Computers
Further information available at: https://pcsrefurbished.com/about/internetFAQ.aspx
Are you or someone in your household a SNAP participant? Are you a California resident and does at least one member of your household receive SSI benefits? If so, you could qualify for low-cost home Internet under the Access program from AT&T. AT&T is making it easier to connect to friends, family, and the things that matter most. AT&T is offering low-cost wireline home Internet service to qualifying households with at least one resident who participates in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), other conditions also apply.
Further information available at: https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/#!/
Mediacom offers a simple, affordable way to help students get quality home internet. If your child qualifies for free or reduced school lunches (NSLP), you could qualify for discounted home internet. The internet is essential for successful learning and Mediacom wants to help families with K-12 students get connected.
Further information available at: http://mediacomc2c.com
Altice Advantage Internet
Brought to you by Optimum and Suddenlink. You may qualify for Altice Advantage Internet if you or a member of your household are: Eligible for or participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); or New York City resident and attends a New York City public school; or Eligible for or receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and 65 years of age or older.
Further information available at: http://www.alticeadvantageinternet.com/#/
Comcast has launched a pilot program of its low-cost Internet Essentials program for low-income Philadelphia senior citizens. There are nearly 200,000 citizens in Philadelphia who are 65 or older, and this is the first time they've had access to Comcast's Internet Essentials, which includes download Internet speeds up to 10 Mbps, free Wi-Fi router, access to free digital literacy training, and option to purchase a computer for less than $150. Monthly prices can be as low as $9.95.
Philadelphia residents can apply by calling 1-855-848-6348.
Cheap Internet for Washington Low-income Residents
InterConnection is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that makes information and communication technology accessible to under-served communities around the world. Qualified low-income individuals and families can gain access to technology through their innovative online store. They accomplish this mission by providing high-quality refurbished computers to nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.
Further information available at: https://interconnection.org
Find every Internet provider in your Area! BroadbandNow takes the tedious hassle of searching for the best Internet access prices in your local area. See plans, prices, and ratings for every internet provider in your area. BroadbandNow spent years, collecting and analyzing internet providers coverage and availability to make the most accurate zip code search available. Their goal is to give you an all inclusive answer to the question of: "What internet providers are available in my area or at my address?"
Further information available at: https://broadbandnow.com