Apply For Low-Income Internet from 40+ Broadband Companies

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Thanks.

In 2024, we can all agree access to good internet service is no longer a luxury. Besides connecting with loved ones, many Americans now go online to complete schoolwork, work remotely, apply for jobs pay bills, attend telehealth appointments, and others. So, knowing how to apply for low-income internet can be very helpful for those with less or no earnings.

As per the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, over 20 million Americans have no internet at home. About 18% of this number claim their reason for being offline is that the internet service is too expensive. Not to mention inflation has raised the prices of almost everything, forcing us to focus our priorities on the important stuff.

Fortunately, for YOU, you don’t have to worry about getting your home online. You can enjoy affordable mobile or fixed internet at either a discounted price or free of charge.

Verdict: 5 Easy Ways How to Get Low-Income Internet in 2024

  • Apply for low-income internet with charity organizations
  • Get low-income internet from the government with the Lifeline program
  • Apply for low-income internet from the government with the ACP program
  • Get low-income internet by fundraising on digital crowdfunding programs
  • Apply for free or discounted internet with help from a friend/ relative

What is a Low-Income Internet Offer?

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you should know on how to apply for low-income internet. While different internet providers have different pricing, the average cost of a monthly subscription is about $30 per month.

In the cheap internet providers I’ve gone through, the thirty bucks often cover the base subscription plan. But most providers start their pricing around $50 – $80 per month when we include the lease fee of the equipment- modem/ router.

At this rate, it’s no doubt the reason we have millions unable to afford even the basic broadband plans. Then again, you shouldn’t be offline when we have so many companies willing to bring you wireless, cable, or fiber internet at less.

Low-Income Internet with Government Subsidies

One of the programs to help bring you low-income internet is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The government created the program at the end of 2021 to support families COVID-19 had affected financially.

If eligible, the ACP program offers a $30/ month ($75 on tribal lands) subsidy on eligible broadband plans. Thus, it’s possible to find a broadband provider with a totally free internet plan on mobile or fixed infrastructure.

Unfortunately, though, the $14 billion that the government set aside for the ACP program is almost finished. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees the ACP program, is estimating the funds to completely run out in April.

So, the consumers already getting the broadband benefit also have until April unless Congress provides additional funding.

How to Apply for Low-Income Internet

But even when the ACP program ends, the government still has the Lifeline program. Lifeline program, unlike ACP, is a permanent program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet service for eligible low-income families.

The Lifeline benefit usually offers a smaller service subsidy of $9.25 per month than ACP. But those on the tribal lands yet get a slightly better discount of up to $34.25 per month.

Lifeline internet providers get funding from the government through the Universal Service Fund (USF). The government finances USF through contributions from telecommunication providers on wireline and wireless phones, plus VoIP and voice cable service.

So, unlike ACP, Lifeline is a permanent connectivity program. The only way you lose the discount is if no longer eligible for the assistance program.

How to Apply for Low-Income Internet with the Lifeline Program

The easiest way to apply for low-income internet from the government currently is with the Lifeline program. But before applying, you’ll need to qualify for the program, which requires either:

  1. A low income at or below 135% of federal poverty guidelines
  2. Medicaid or Medi-Cal
  3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  4. Veterans & Veteran’s Survivors Pension
  5. Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  6. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  7. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  8. Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  9. Tribal-administered assistance benefits, such as Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

If you certify either of these eligibility requirements, you can now apply for the Lifeline connectivity program from your desired provider. However, the provider you choose must be one of the options with the license to offer Lifeline service. (Scroll down for the list of some of the best Lifeline providers with low-income internet).

Once with the service provider, you can apply online, call the customer care number, or send an email. The enrollment process requires your full name, date of birth, social security number (last digits), and home address.

In other cases, a broadband provider will require you to first apply for the Lifeline at Then once approved, you can return to their website and apply online, by call, or via email.

Keep in mind that when you submit your application for the low-income internet with Lifeline program, it goes to the National Verifier. NV will then analyze the details to determine your eligibility and provide a unique Lifeline ID number.

The Lifeline internet providers will use your unique ID number to complete the enrollment.

Important Note:

If the National Verifier can’t verify your details, you’ll get a prompt to provide proof of identity and eligibility. The proof you offer can be either a photo or a scanned file of:

Proof of Identity

Examples of documents you can provide as proof of identity when applying for the low-income internet with Lifeline are:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • Government/ military/ state/ Tribal ID
  • Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization

Proof of eligibility

Some of the documents you can use as proof of eligibility include:

  • State/ federal/ Tribal tax return
  • Income statement/ paycheck stub
  • Divorce decree or child support award
  • Unemployment/ Workers’ Compensation Statement
  • Statement of participation in a supported government-funded assistance benefit
  • Letter of approval/ verification on a supported government-funded assistance benefit

Proof of home address

Sometimes you may be asked to provide proof of your home address when applying for the Lifeline service. Some of the documents you can use as proof of home address include:

  • Utility bill
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Mortgage or lease statement
  • Most recent W-2 or tax return
  • Government/ State/ Tribal ID

FYI: The National Verifier (NV) is the system of USAC that determines your eligibility for the Lifeline program. USAC or Universal Service Administrative Company is the institution of the government that administers the Lifeline program (ACP).

How to Apply for Low-income Internet with ACP Program

If the government provides additional funding for the ACP program, we can expect the application process to remain. And that means to apply for the low-internet internet through this program, you must first confirm you qualify.

As I mentioned earlier, the ACP program is only available to consumers with a low income. You can qualify if you have:

  • Medicaid or Medi-Cal
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans & Veteran’s Survivors Pension
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • A Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • A low income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
  • Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Tribal-administered assistance benefits, such as Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • School Breakfast or School Lunch Program (including from the USDA Community Eligibility Provision).

As you can see here, all the eligibility requirements of the low-income Internet with Lifeline program apply for ACP too. So, you automatically qualify for the ACP if getting Lifeline service.

The process to apply for the subsidized internet with the ACP program is also just like with the Lifeline program. I mean, you only need to choose the broadband company to join. Then, apply either online, call customer support, or via email.

Do note providers of low-income internet with ACP programs also don’t determine eligibility. The National Verifier is also responsible for determining eligibility here and assigning the ACP ID number.

Once with the unique ACP ID, the internet provider will process your registration. Then, they will balance out the monthly bill with the government subsidy you get.

40+ Companies You Can Apply for Low-Income Internet with Lifeline or ACP program

If eligible, there are over a thousand companies you can get low-income internet plans. The best company to choose depends on your location, as well as what you need to achieve.

Broadband Providers You Can Apply for Low-Income Internet with Lifeline

In a nutshell, you can apply for low-income internet with Lifeline on either fixed/ wired or mobile broadband providers. A fixed broadband provider (fiber/ cable/ ADSL) is the best option for heavy-data users or a residence with many people to go online.

20+ companies you can apply fixed/ wired low-income internet with the Lifeline program include:

 Call to ApplyApply Online
Consolidated Communications1-844-968-7224www.consolidated-com/Support/Residential-Support/Lifeline-Assistance-Programs 
Cox Communications1-800-234-3993www.cox-com/residential/phone/lifeline-html?
TDS Telecom/Hornitos Telephone Company1-866-571-6662www.tdstelecom-com/lifeline.html 
Atlas Telephone 
Cookson Hills
CVEC Fiber(405)
Windstream Communications1-800-347-1991www.windstreamcom/about/lifeline.assistance-program
Lake Region Technology and
Twin Valley
H & B Cable
Wamego Telephone Company+1
S & T Telephone1 (800)
Tri-County Telephone
Gorham Telephone
LaHarpe Telephone Company,
Nex-Tech (formerly Moundridge Telephone Company)
JBN Telephone

Mobile Providers You can Apply for low-income Internet with the Lifeline Program

Unfortunately, not all areas have access to fixed broadband providers, leaving them with only wireless/ mobile connectivity. But, fortunately, you can also get low-income internet with Lifeline through some of the mobile providers, such as:

 Carrier NetworkLifeline-Only Data
SafeLink WirelessVerizon/4-5GB (6GB California)
AirTalk WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB
Cintex WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB
Assurance WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)
Gen MobileAT&T/ T-Mobile4-5GB
TAG MobileT-Mobile/ Verizon/ AT&T1GB (3GB California)
Q Link WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB
Newphone WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB
Access WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)
TruConnectT-Mobile250MB (6GB California)
Life WirelessAT&T4-5GB (6GB California)
StandUp WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)
Infiniti MobileVerizon/ AT&T/ T-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)
American AssistanceT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)
Assist WirelessT-Mobile50MB or 3GB
Safety net Wireless  AT&T1GB (6GB California)
Easy WirelessT-Mobile25MB

Broadband Providers You Can Apply for Low-Income Internet with ACP Program

Similarly, fixed/ wired broadband providers for low-income internet with the ACP program offer the best connectivity experience. The companies with the Lifeline program I listed above have also been offering ACP programs. So, you could apply with them again if the government restores the funding.

Other fixed broadband providers you can get free or discounted internet with ACP are:

  Apply by CallApply Online
Starlink by
PCs for
Spot on

Mobile providers You can Apply for Low-Income internet with ACP

If in an area without fixed broadband, Lifeline providers also have ACP discounts. In fact, combining your Lifeline and ACP discounts will give you the best perks, including unlimited high-speed data with some companies.

Besides Lifeline companies, various prepaid and postpaid phone providers have also been offering ACP discounts. However, only several of them would give you a full discount on the Internet. See below:

 Carrier NetworkLifeline-Only DataACP+ Lifeline Data
SafeLink WirelessVerizon/4-5GB (6GB California)Unlimited (2-1TB)
AirTalk WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB15GB
Cintex WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB15GB
Assurance WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)25GB
TAG MobileT-Mobile/ Verizon/ AT&T1GB (3GB California)8-5GB (8GB California)
Q Link WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB28GB
Newphone WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB15GB
Access WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)15GB
TruConnectT-Mobile250MB (6GB California)14GB
Life WirelessAT&T4-5GB (6GB California)15GB
Boost MobileAT&T/ T-MobileN/B (prepaid)10GB (ACP only)
Red PocketT-Mobile/ Verizon/ AT&TN/B (prepaid)10GB (ACP only)
Gen MobileAT&T/ T-Mobile4.5GB7GB (ACP only)
StandUp WirelessT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)10GB
American AssistanceT-Mobile4-5GB (6GB California)14-5GB (16GB California)
Assist WirelessT-Mobile50MB or 3GB12GB
Safety net Wireless  AT&T1GB (6GB California)22GB
Easy WirelessT-Mobile25MB7-5GB
AT&T PrepaidAT&TN/A (Prepaid)5GB (ACP only)
Metro by T-MobileT-MobileN/A (Prepaid)5GB (ACP only)
Total by VerizonVerizonN/A (Prepaid)5GB (ACP only)
Straight TalkVerizon/ AT&T/ T-MobileN/A (Prepaid)5GB (ACP only)
Cricket WirelessAT&TN/A (Prepaid)5GB (ACP only)

Key Takeaway:

Besides the government subsidies Lifeline and ACP program, you can apply for low-income internet with privately funded assistance programs. The private assistance programs include:

  1. Charity programs that give free/ discounted internet from donations. Some of the charity programs are Synergy Charity Services, Everone On, Give Internet, Human-IT, and Mobile Citizen.
  2. Digital Crowdfunding platforms like Gofundme or Patreon, where you can fundraise money to pay for your internet bill
  3. Assistance from a relative, friend, or your church to pay your monthly internet plan.

Common Related Questions

How do I get low-income internet for free?

The easiest way to get low-income internet is by qualifying for the Lifeline program. Yes, the ACP program offers more discounts on the Internet than the Lifeline program. But the Lifeline is a permanent program whereas ACP is a temporary connectivity benefit that may be ending in April this year.

Can I get a free internet plan with AT&T?

While many don’t know, AT&T is a participant in the Lifeline program from the government. However, you can’t get free internet with AT&T Lifeline since it only covers voice service.

Is the low-income internet with Lifeline program worth it?

YES,  the low-income internet with the Lifeline program is worth it. Of course, many of the Lifeline internet providers will give you a partial discount on the featured plans. But it still helps lower your monthly bill, with some Providers offering the basic internet plan for free.

When is the low-income internet with ACP ending?

The FCC is projecting the low-income internet with ACP program to end in April unless the government provides additional funding.

When the ACP ends, you’ll have to apply for the low-income internet with the Lifeline program. And if ineligible for the Lifeline, you’ll have to apply for a prepaid or postpaid broadband plan.

Final Thoughts

Would you like to get online but have been struggling with finances? Well, that’s everything relevant you should know on how to apply for low-income internet. The government-funded subsidy with the ACP program has been the best deal, as you’d even get free service with premium broadband providers like Verizon.

However, the National Verifier stopped accepting new enrollments for the ACP program in February 2024. Worse, the FCC estimates the remaining ACP fund will end in April 2024, which means the end of the broadband subsidy too.

If eligible for the Lifeline program, though, you can continue getting a discount from an eligible internet provider.

Our guide has covered over thirty fixed and mobile broadband providers you can consider for this offer. But as you apply, do remember you can only apply for internet for low-income individuals with the Lifeline program once per household. If someone else is already enrolled, the National Verifier will decline your application-