The best way to finance your internet plan is to use an ISP. Most of the time, internet service providers have a credit program that helps people pay for their monthly bills. The credit program offers a variety of plans, including free service for those who qualify. Many major carriers offer these plans, including Comcast, Verizon Fios, and AT&T. But there are also smaller, local providers, such as IdeaTek in Kansas and Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee. Internet speeds in these programs must be at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps), which is more than fast enough for a family of four to work from home, surf the web, and stream high-definition video.
AARP has been advocating for low-cost Internet plans for older Americans. The program allows participants to choose a low-cost internet plan that fits their needs. The AARP defines high-speed broadband as 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. All plans meeting the FCC’s standards are eligible for the subsidy. There are other subsidies available to help people get an internet plan. ACP and Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides subsidies to low-income households.
After the pandemic hit, state governments stepped up their efforts to provide broadband to the rural areas. The federal government also increased its assistance, providing state and local governments with grants and loans to support broadband expansion in their areas. Currently, all but three states have agencies dedicated to broadband expansion. The state of Mississippi has a broadband task force and no dedicated office for this program. It does, however, have a fund for broadband projects.
Many people cannot afford to pay for high-speed internet on a monthly basis. Thankfully, the Affordable Connectivity Program offers free high-speed internet to qualifying households. However, you must apply to a participating provider to receive the free service. There are some brands that will upgrade the speed of the plan for people with lower-income levels. This may not be a viable option for you, but there are other options available. There are some plans that are affordable, but don’t offer much in return.