The Ultimate Guide To Get Free Internet for Seniors In 2023

Free Internet for Seniors

Did you know that 75% of adults aged 65 and over used the internet in 2021? Whether you want to stay in touch with your loved ones, learn new skills, shop online, or stream your favorite shows, the internet is an essential tool for daily life. But not everyone can afford it. ūüėĘ

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, only 59% of seniors aged 65 and older have broadband internet at home, compared to 82% of adults under 65. One of the main reasons for this digital divide is the high cost of internet service, which can range from $20 to $100 per month or more depending on the provider and plan.

Fortunately for seniors and other low-income households, there are ways to get highly discounted ‚ÄĒ or even free ‚ÄĒ internet access in 2023. In this article, we will cover:

  • Government assistance programs that can reduce your internet bill by up to $75 per month
  • Internet providers that offer low-cost plans for seniors
  • Tips and resources to make the most of your internet connection

How To Get Low Cost or Free Internet For Seniors: Government Assistance Programs

The federal government offers two main programs that can help seniors lower their internet costs: The Affordable Connectivity Program and The Lifeline Program. These programs are available to eligible households regardless of age, but they can be especially beneficial for seniors on low or fixed incomes. Here’s how they work:

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new program that replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program that was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACP offers up to a $30 per month credit toward internet service for eligible households, or up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands.

To be eligible for the ACP, one of the following must apply to you:

  • Your household income is at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines
  • Your household is on qualifying tribal lands
  • A member of your household participates in one of the following assistance programs:
    • ¬†¬†The National School Lunch Program
    • ¬†¬†SNAP
    • ¬†¬†Medicaid
    • ¬†¬†Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • ¬†¬†Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • ¬†¬†WIC
    • ¬†¬†Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
    • ¬†¬†Lifeline
    • ¬†¬†Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • ¬†¬†Tribal TANF
    • ¬†¬†Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • ¬†¬†Tribal Head Starts

To apply for the ACP, you need to fill out an online application at GetEmergencyBroadband.org or mail a paper application to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center  

P.O. Box 7081  

London, KY 40742

You will also need to provide proof of your eligibility, such as a copy of your income tax return, benefit letter, or program participation card. You can find more information about the ACP at FCC.gov/ACP 

The ACP is a great way to save money on your internet bill and get access to high-speed broadband that you need for work, school, healthcare, and more. ūüėé

Related: 12 Proven Ways To Get Free Computer or Laptop For Seniors

The Lifeline Program

The Lifeline Program is a longstanding program that helps reduce the monthly cost of phone or internet service by $9.25, or by up to $34.25 for customers who live on tribal lands . You can use the Lifeline discount for either phone or internet service, but not both.

To be eligible for the Lifeline program, you must satisfy any of the below given criteria: 

  • Your income is 135% or less of federal poverty guidelines
  • You (or someone in your household) participate in one of the following assistance programs:
    • ¬†¬†SNAP
    • ¬†¬†Medicaid
    • ¬†¬†Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • ¬†¬†Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • ¬†¬†Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
    • ¬†¬†Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • ¬†¬†Tribal TANF
    • ¬†¬†Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • ¬†¬†Tribal Head Starts

To apply for the Lifeline program, you need to visit LifelineSupport.org and create an account. You will also need to provide proof of your eligibility, such as a copy of your income tax return, benefit letter, or program participation card. You can find more information about the Lifeline program at FCC.gov/Lifeline.

The Lifeline program is another option to lower your internet cost and stay connected with your family and friends. ūüôĆ

Low Cost Or Free Internet For Seniors: Internet Providers

If you are not eligible for the government assistance programs, or if you want to compare different options, you can also find affordable internet service from various internet providers. Some of the best providers that offer low-cost plans for seniors are:

Xfinity

Xfinity offers basic internet service for as low as $20 per month with a one-year term contract . You can also save up to $20 per month on select Xfinity internet plans for up to 24 months if you sign up for Xfinity Mobile. Xfinity has a wide coverage area and fast speeds, but it also has data caps and fees for some plans.

Spectrum Internet‚ďá

Spectrum Internet‚ďá offers internet service for as low as $29.99 per month with no contract or data caps. You can also get a free internet modem, antivirus software, and access to thousands of WiFi hotspots. Spectrum Internet‚ďá has a good coverage area and reliable speeds, but it also has price hikes after the first year and limited plan options.

AT&T

AT&T offers internet service for as low as $35 per month with a one-year term contract. You can also get free internet equipment, unlimited data, and access to thousands of WiFi hotspots. AT&T has a large coverage area and various plan options, but it also has data caps and fees for some plans.

To find the best plan for your needs and budget, you can compare different providers and plans using online tools like Allconnect.com or HighSpeedInternet.com. You can also call the providers directly and ask about their senior discounts, promotions, and bundle options.

Finding affordable internet service from providers can be tricky, but not impossible. ūüėä

Tips and Resources For Seniors To Use Internet Effectively

Once you have your internet service set up, you can make the most of it by following some tips and resources that can help you improve your internet speed, security, and performance. Here are some of them:

  • Use a WiFi extender or mesh network to boost your signal and eliminate dead zones in your home.
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network) to protect your online privacy and security from hackers and trackers.
  • Use a password manager to create and store strong passwords for your online accounts.
  • Use an ad blocker to block annoying and intrusive ads on websites and apps.
  • Use a browser extension like Honey or Rakuten to find coupons and cashback deals when you shop online.
  • Use online learning platforms like Coursera or Udemy to take courses on various topics and skills.
  • Use online shopping platforms like Amazon or Walmart to buy groceries, household items, and more with free delivery.
  • Use online entertainment platforms like Netflix or Hulu to watch movies, shows, documentaries, and more with unlimited streaming.
  • Use online communication platforms like Zoom or Skype to video chat with your family and friends for free.
  • Use online health platforms like Teladoc or Amwell to consult with doctors and therapists from the comfort of your home.

These tips and resources can help you make the most of your internet connection and enjoy all the benefits of being online. ūüėä

Conclusion

The internet is a wonderful resource for seniors, but it can also be expensive and risky. Fortunately, there are many ways to get free or low-cost internet access in 2023, as well as tips and resources to improve your internet experience. Whether you qualify for government assistance programs, choose an affordable internet provider, or follow some simple cyber security practices, you can enjoy the benefits of being online without breaking the bank or compromising your safety. ūüėć

We hope this article has helped you find the best internet option for your needs and budget. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family who might also be looking for free internet for seniors in 2023. ūüôŹ

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