If, however, you can’t find a high-speed service that fits your budget and you don’t mind slower service, consider getting dial-up Internet. If you have a home phone line, NetZero and Juno again provide some very inexpensive dial-up services running $10 and $11 per month, respectively.
Low Income Internet: If your income is low enough and you live in a participating state, a number of programs offer low-cost high-speed Internet services. One that’s most fitting for financially challenged seniors is CenturyLink’s Internet Basics program (centurylink.com/home/internetbasics, 866-642-0444), which is available in 37 states.
This program offers high-speed DSL Internet service for just $10 a month for the first year ($21 a month afterward). It also offers a personal computer for just $150 and free introductory computer classes.
To qualify, you’ll need to show that you’re receiving certain types of government benefits, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, home energy assistance or public housing assistance. Or, that your household income is at or below 135, 150 or 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines — it varies by state.
Other programs are available that serve additional states, like Internet Essentials offered by Comcast (internetessentials.com) and Connect2Compete (connect2compete.org), but to be eligible, you must have a child or grandchild who lives in your house who participates in the national school lunch program.
Both of these programs offer Internet home service for $10 a month and a $150 personal computer.
Also, stay tuned for the government’s Lifeline Broadband Program that could soon offer income-qualified citizens across the country high-speed home Internet services for a low cost. To find out more about all of these programs, visit cheapinternet.com.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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