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A Guide To Affordable Internet for Seniors

May 09, 2023

Learn about affordable internet options and how seniors and low-income families can get online for less with these low-cost, budget plans. Affordable internet is helping change people's lives by putting a world within reach.

Two in five U.S. seniors — or some 20 million people — lack access to high-speed, wired internet at home. Without affordable internet, they can't easily search for health information, bank online or order food delivery — all services that can make life easier for older adults.

High-speed internet service also lets seniors take part in tele-health appointments, which have increased by almost 40 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Significantly, having affordable internet also means seniors can easily stay in touch with distant family and friends who use video calls, texts, email and social media.


What Are Affordable Internet Options?

One easy solution is for seniors to see if they qualify for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program provides eligible households a discount of up to $30 per month (or $75 on Tribal Lands) to access high-speed, affordable internet.


Who Qualifies for Affordable, Low-Cost Internet?

A senior or low-income family qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program if their income is 200 percent or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Alternatively, they can qualify by participating in certain eligible, income-based government assistance programs, including Medicaid, Federal Housing Assistance or SNAP, or receiving veterans' pension or survivor benefits, among others.


Can Seniors Get Free Internet?

With the monthly ACP credit added to one of Cox's budget-friendly internet plans, eligible households can end up receiving internet service for free.


A household that qualifies for Cox's ConnectAssist affordable internet plan pays just $30 a month for their internet service. That household may also qualify for the ACP discount of $30 a month, which applies directly to their bill. Each month, they end up paying nothing for home internet.


Another option is Cox StraightUp Internet, a prepaid plan that costs $50 a month with no term agreement or credit check required. The package includes a wifi modem and allows five to seven devices to stream content with downloads speeds up to 100 Mbps. It also provides flexibility so you pay as you go and you can turn service off and on easily. Households that qualify for the $30 ACP discount would effectively pay $20 a month.


Do You Qualify for Low-Cost Internet for Families?

The Cox Connect2Compete package is available to families with at least one K-12 child in the home who participate in an eligible government assistance program. The plan costs $9.95 a month and includes a wifi modem and download speeds up to 100 Mbps. Applying for the ACP monthly credit could reduce your monthly bill to zero.


Coupled with the federal funding, Cox's budget internet plans can mean discounted or free internet for seniors and free or low-cost internet for low-income families. Applying for Cox low-cost internet and the ACP discount is easy.


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