10 Best Free Government Internet for Low Income Families

Free government internet for low income, There are several different initiatives that may assist low-income families in reducing the cost of internet access. You may lower your monthly internet cost thanks to low-income internet programs offered by internet service providers (ISPs) and government subsidies. One notable example is the recently implemented Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which may lower your monthly costs and provide a discount of up to one hundred dollars on purchasing a new computer or tablet.

To assist you in lowering the costs associated with maintaining your online connection, we will take you through several low-cost internet packages, income-based services, and low-income family plans.

10 Best Free Government Internet for Low Income Families

There is a wide variety of reasonably priced internet service providers. The latest Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides families who qualify with discounts on internet access of up to $30 per month (and up to $75 per month if you reside on indigenous grounds), is the finest internet choice for those with modest incomes. Internet service plans may begin at a lowly $19.99 per month, depending on where you reside in the United States; thus, the money you save might potentially be enough to get you connected online for free.

We suggest checking multiple internet options for a little longer since they may provide further cost reductions. You can participate in both of these programs while still receiving the advantages of the ACP.

1. Optimum

Those with access to Optimum can sign up for Altice Advantage Internet, which provides internet download speeds of up to 30 Mbps for a monthly cost of $14.99 for eligible people.

One qualifies for the Altice Advantage Internet program if they are either a veteran of the United States armed forces who receives public assistance, have a kid living in their home who is a participant of the National Supplemental Learning Program (NSLP) or have a child living in their home who is a beneficiary of NSLP.

2. AT&T

Families with modest incomes who qualify for AT&T’s Access program may pay between $5 and $10 per month to get internet speeds of up to 10 Mbps. Customers must have at least one household member enrolled in the SNAP program to be eligible for the Access program.

3. Xfinity

Internet Essentials from Xfinity is a program that provides low-cost internet service to those who qualify for it. Students, elders, and low-income families are the intended beneficiaries of this initiative. It doesn’t run credit checks, has download speeds of up to 25 Mbps, and provides free government internet for low income.

Xfinity’s Internet Essentials service also includes the provision of low-cost PCs. For only $149, customers can get a desktop or laptop with Microsoft Office, Norton Security, and a 90-day guarantee.

Customers must apply and wait for approval before they may begin using Internet Essentials. To be eligible, a family must fulfill certain income and other guidelines and have at least one kid qualified for the National School Lunch Program.

4. Spectrum

In response to Xfinity’s Internet Essentials, Spectrum has developed a service called Internet Assist. For $14.99 a month for 12 months, Internet Assist provides speeds of up to 30 Mbps (wireless rates may vary), with no data limit and no commitment required. Eligible households include those with at least one student participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the NSLP’s Community Eligibility Provision, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (over the age of 65).

The monthly fee of $14.99 for Internet Assist is worth it since the speeds it provides are far greater than those of Xfinity Internet Essentials. WiFi, however, costs an additional $5 per month from the ISP.

5. Cox

Connect2Compete, of which Cox Low-Cost Internet is a part, is an approach that aims to ensure that low-income households have access to the Internet to assist their children to succeed academically in grades K-12. Families with a kid in kindergarten through grade twelve may sign up for the $9.95 per month discounted internet service.

In addition, families must be enrolled in one of the following programs to be considered for eligibility:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the National School Lunch Program) (SNAP)
  • Help for Families in Need, Temporarily (TANF)
  • Housing for the Public Sector

6. Mediacom

Mediacom’s Connect2Compete initiative collaborates with EveryoneOn to provide low-cost internet access to NSLP-eligible students. For $9.95 a month, you may have access to a WiFi modem and an internet connection at 25 Mbps via this service.

7. Verizon

Verizon offers the standard Lifeline discount and an Internet service provider discount. On top of the $9.95 Lifeline discount, Verizon now provides a $20 discount on Verizon Fios internet services. For just $19.99 a month, you can subscribe to Verizon’s 200 Mbps internet service.

8. NetZero

NetZero is an excellent selection for anybody searching for a cost-free internet software solution. While NetZero, like many other internet service providers, charges for some of its features, the basic dial-up service is free for those on a tight budget. Dial-up internet is the bare-bones option, and while it may be slow for downloading and streaming, it gets the job done.

Despite its convenience, this internet service only allows for a maximum of 10 hours per month of use, which can be challenging to meet due to the slow speeds. With its cheap monthly fee and unlimited data allowance, NetZero is an excellent choice for low-income households who need internet access for everyday tasks but can’t afford to use it constantly.

9. Altice USA

Altice USA has worked tirelessly since the global epidemic began to touch the lives of every American to ensure that people in need have access to high-quality, affordable Internet. After the first free trial period ends, new users of Optimum and Suddenlink will only have to pay $14.95 per month for internet access.

Everyone in the Altice USA community, including students, teachers, and staff, can take advantage of this program if they are required to work or study away from their usual locations due to current events. K-12 and college students and students of any age who do not have access to the Internet at home are eligible for free internet access at school. Altice USA offers discounted prices in addition to a free smart router, modem, and significantly discounted installation fees.

The Altice Advantage internet service is available to low-income seniors and veterans, providing them with the same perks listed above.

10. Internet First

People who are eligible for any of the following public service programs who reside in RCN, Grande, or Wave service zones are eligible to participate in Internet First, a program that provides affordable internet access.

  • Head Start Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (formerly known as the Head Start National School Lunch Program, or NSLP) (LIHEAP)
  • Pension from the VA Assistance to Tribes
  • Assistance in the Short Term for Families in Need (TANF)
  • Program for Supplemental Assistance with Food (SNAP) (SNAP)
  • Medicaid Assistance with public housing costs
  • Program for Mothers, Babies, and Young Children (WIC)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (SSI)
  • Federal Pell Grant (applicable only for Illinois and Colorado)

You may access internet speeds of up to 25 Mbps for just $9.95 per month if you sign up for the Internet First program.

ACP – Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is expected to still be a leading option in 2024. This federal benefit provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 on internet service and up to $75 on devices that access the internet. There is no cost to enroll, only qualification requirements based on income or participation in certain government assistance programs.

Key Features

  • Up to $30/month discount on internet service
  • Up to $75 discount on laptop, desktop computer, or tablet
  • For eligible low-income households
  • No cost to enroll

With no renewal process needed, the ACP should remain straightforward to sign up for and use in 2024. The benefit can be applied to many types of internet services, making it flexible across providers and connection types.

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit was a temporary program that provided discounts similar to the ACP. This assistance program ended in December 2021. The ACP essentially took its place going forward as a long-term, permanent version of subsidized connectivity.

So the Emergency Broadband Benefit itself will not be an option in 2024. But mentioning it helps provide some history and context around the current ACP.

Local Government Programs

Along with federal assistance options, some city, county, and even state governments are rolling out their own low-cost internet programs tailored to their residents. These local initiatives are expected to continue expanding access in 2024.


  • California: State and local programs providing high-speed internet to low-income residents. Often utilizing public/private partnerships.
  • Seattle: Discount internet services starting under $10/month for lower-income residents. Provided by public housing agencies and non-profits via city sponsorship.
  • San Antonio: Free tier of high-speed fiber internet offered to households based on student lunch subsidies. Funded via city and school district.

Local governments across the nation are getting creative with programs sponsored by digital equity funds, education departments, housing authorities, and more. More municipalities are likely to introduce free and discounted internet options that are subsidy eligible in 2024.

ISP Sponsored Programs

Major internet providers are also crafting low-cost connectivity solutions for low-income subscribers, often with some support from government funding sources. These options are expected to continue and grow in 2024.


  • AT&T Access from AT&T: $30/month home internet option for households enrolled in SNAP.
  • Comcast Internet Essentials: Low-cost internet plans from $9.95/month based on eligibility.
  • Spectrum Internet Assist: Qualified households can get 30 Mbps broadband for $17.99/month.

Familiar providers like Charter, Cox, Verizon, T-Mobile and others are likely to update and confirm their own affordable internet offers into 2024 as well.

Tribal Programs

There are also internet assistance programs dedicated to helping Native American tribes and populations. These include specialized options related to the ACP and FCC, along with specific tribal development initiatives.

As digital infrastructure and connectivity continues improving across tribal lands into 2024, the assistance programs aiding these communities are likely to remain crucial.

Subsidized Service Types

The free or discounted internet services provided across these various options in 2024 typically fall into a few categories:


Coverage tends to emphasize wired broadband plans with faster, more reliable speeds. This includes options like:

  • Cable internet
  • DSL
  • Fiber

Minimum speeds can vary but are often benchmarked around 25-50 Mbps, with 100+ Mbps fiber plans becoming more common.

Fixed Wireless

Rural areas may rely more on fixed wireless internet delivery using long-range signal broadcasting. This can offer comparable speeds to wired connections.


Some programs utilize cellular network providers and offer subsidized costs on data plans or unlimited hotspot service. These mobile options provide more flexibility but may have reduced speeds or data allotments.

The push for widespread affordable access, including rural areas and tribal lands, is likely to encourage a range of connection types. The improving technology and availability of fixed wireless and satellite broadband will also give more qualifying households reliable high-speed options by 2024.

Eligibility Requirements

Each government program sets its own criteria for who can qualify and enroll to receive the assisted internet services. But they typically involve limits related to:


Household earnings must usually fall under a set percentage of the Federal Poverty Guideline. Common thresholds are 200%, 250% or 400% of poverty level based on factors like household size.

Government Assistance

If household income exceeds set limits, people can still qualify by participating in certain government assistance programs like:

  • SNAP
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit
  • Tribal assistance programs

Status Factors

Additionally, status qualities that often provide qualification include:

  • Senior citizen status (65+ years)
  • Disability recipient status
  • Students of Tribal colleges

Assuming these sorts of standard eligibility factors, qualifying subscribers have to confirm their status only once when signing up. This enrollment then gives access to the program’s low-cost connectivity services month-to-month as long as factors remain valid.

How to Apply

With the wide range of government and community internet assistance expected in 2024, how to apply will vary some by provider:

ACP Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program application involves:

  1. Gather documentation validating identity along with proof of current government assistance program eligibility or income threshold.
  2. Contact desired participating internet company and indicate interest in their ACP offer.
  3. Provide collected documentation when prompted to confirm qualification.
  4. Receive ongoing discounted pricing on monthly bills after successful status confirmation.

ACP Application Portal

Local Government Partnerships

Application for county, city or state programs would utilize provider portals and require verifying eligibility factors based on their established guidelines.

Contact individual program administration for full application details.

ISP Offers

Internet provider-specific low-income programs would utilize online or phone enrollment based on that company’s application process and status verification.

See specific ISP websites for complete application instructions.

Streamlining application experiences even further will help expand access and enrollment across all these options moving into 2024. More user-friendly interfaces and standardized processes could draw in more eligible applicants.

Top Programs to Watch

Pulling insights so far on improved internet connectivity for lower-income households expected in 2024, below are 10 best free government internet programs to keep on your radar:

1. Affordable Connectivity Program

This landmark permanent federal benefit is sure to continue expanding qualifying household access with its wide eligibility and flexible use.

2. California State Programs

California is aggressively growing internet equity through public and local efforts. Partnerships with ISPs, public housing, utilities and more is bringing free and low-cost connectivity to more communities.

3. Seattle Public Housing Broadband

Seattle’s trailblazing public housing broadband initiative delivers super low-cost access. With a $5 million budget invested long-term and growth down the road, this program aims to connect over 20,000 households.

4. San Antonio Free City Fiber

San Antonio’s innovative free internet service leveraging existing city fiber and school district coordination looks to be a model adopted by more municipalities focusing digital inclusion.

5. AT&T Access from AT&T

A major mobile and broadband provider expanding qualifying household availability to discounted wired home internet will surely help expand access.

6. Comcast Internet Essentials

One of the earliest low-income internet options from a major cable provider, Comcast’s Internet Essentials will likely continue as a competitive choice.

7. Spectrum Internet Assist

Similarly, Charter’s Spectrum service offers discounted rates through this assisted plan eligible based on income or program subsidies with rates as low as $17.99 monthly for 30 Mbps.

8. Tribal Connectivity Programs

Specialized assistance initiatives focusing expanded internet access on tribal lands and Native American communities will ramp up through 2024 thanks to increased federal infrastructure and funding support.

9. Cox Connect2Compete

Not to be left out, Cox’s low-cost home internet option also continues providing speed packages around 50 Mbps for $9.95 or $19.99 monthly based on qualification criteria.

10. Local Authority Supported Options

More digital equity programs championed by innovative city and county projects will undoubtedly come online, expanding qualifying household connectivity via public and private partnerships.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Government offer free Internet?

Through the free government lifeline internet program, the federal government provides reductions to people’s internet bills. Depending on your internet plan, these savings may reduce your monthly cost to nothing or very close to free. People who are already enrolled in other government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, or FPHA, as well as some Native American Tribal Programs, may be eligible for the Lifeline program.

Can Households who Rely on Food Stamps Receive help Paying for Internet Access?

Through the free government lifeline internet program, households who are enrolled in SNAP, which is sometimes referred to as food stamps, have the opportunity to apply for financial help to cover internet costs. Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are eligible for several low-income assistance programs offered by Internet service providers (ISPs).

Will the Federal Government Foot the Bill for my Internet Service?

Nearly 9 million low-income families have been receiving a $50 per month subsidy from the federal government since March 2021 as part of the stimulus package implemented by the Biden administration. This subsidy is intended to cover the cost of high-speed internet service.

How can I Obtain Internet with SNAP benefits?

Through the Lifeline program, households who are enrolled in SNAP, which is sometimes referred to as food stamps, have the opportunity to apply for financial help to cover internet costs. Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are eligible for several low-income assistance programs offered by Internet service providers (ISPs).


Accessing discounted and even free home internet services appears set to keep expanding in 2024 thanks to growing government assistance programs. As technology improves allowing providers to offer high-speed connectivity more affordably across infrastructure build-outs, deserving lower-income communities stand to benefit.

Federal offerings like the ACP will normalize subsidies making home broadband attainable for more families and residents struggling with limitations. Combined with inspired state and local efforts, key partnerships across public and private sectors aim to leave no one behind while bridging historical access gaps.

For qualifying applicants seeking help getting connected, the possibilities look increasingly positive leading into 2024. Information detailed here highlights what free government internet options have momentum now and where to look for more assistance surfacing down the road. As awareness and enrollment continues rising in existing programs, keep an eye out for newly launched local plans that may suit your connectivity needs among this compilation of expanding opportunities.