Can I Get Low Income Internet Without Waiting 90 Days?

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Art: Robin Mead

Many people who are are low income and disabled or homebound or bedridden, rely on internet as their only connection with the outside world.

Good News: Many programs are now offering $10 internet. Here’s where you can learn more: Good News! $10 Internet! For Real!

Bad News: In some of these programs, if you are already a customer or subscriber, they won’t let you sign up unless you first cancel your internet for 90 days. The most common program where this comes up is Comcast Internet Essentials.

This is obviously a problem. If you depend on internet for your basic survival, you can’t just cancel it for ninety days. So what can you do? Some of our readers have found creative solutions:

Nine Solutions for the 90 Day Problem

🌷Look into AT&TAT&T Access offers a $10 internet program and does not have a 90 day waiting period. It is available in 21 states.

🌷 Sign up for a different service – If there are other internet services in your area, see if they have a service you can sign up for month-to-month. Or sign up for a year and then cancel. Or sign a contract and then pay a fee to break it. You may need to do math.

🌷 Get data on your cell phone – Pay for 3 months of unlimited data on your cell phone. Use this as your internet for 90 days. If you already have unlimited data on your phone, you don’t have to pay anything extra, you can just do it.

🌷 Get a hotspot – Some people get unlimited data on their cellphones and then use their cellphones as a hot spot to get internet on their laptops and other devices. What does this mean and how do you do it? We don’t know and we don’t know… but you can learn more about it here: How to Turn Your Phone Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

🌷 See if Your Library Has Mobile Hotspot Lending – Some libraries will loan you free internet that you can use at home on your phone. Learn more about this here: Borrowing the Internet.

🌷 Borrow from a Friend – See if anyone you know has an unlimited internet package and will let you use their internet login for 90 days. If there is wi-fi signal in your area, you may not need a router in your house.

🌷Look into other companies – AT&T and Comcast are the two biggest programs that have had the best reviews from our readers. In some cases, it may be possible to find other options. How to Get $5 Internet and other Low income internet programs (Warning: Readers report that the Lifeline programs are not great and may be little or no savings).

🌷 During coronavirus  – 390 Phone and Internet Companies have agreed to open wi-fi hotspots to the public. It might be worth checking to see if you can now get a signal for free internet in your home.

🌷 Get Internet as a Gift – Idea from a reader: “Cancel your account, then ask a friend or family member to open a new account and buy internet for you as a gift. They can do it for as long as they want to (at least 90 days), but they might want to see if there is a plan that doesn’t have a one year contract. When your loved one is done giving you a gift, they cancel the account. Then you can apply for your own account.” Does this work? We don’t know! Comment below if you try it.

🌷 Switch Account Holders –  From Dahlia: “I cancelled my account. My housemate is also low income and disabled. She opened her own new account. There was no waiting period.”

THANKS FOR READING

🌷 This page is part of the free online guide for people with disabilities: How to Be Poor in America

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

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5 thoughts on “Can I Get Low Income Internet Without Waiting 90 Days?”

  1. my term with comcast is ending in the first part of november. my question is, is ending contract commitment considered a cancellation? also, when would be a good time to port my number….a week or 2 weeks before contract ends? if anybody have an input on this, i thank you and appreciate you.

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  2. I have altice in my area and they only offer the low income internet to seniors or students in the school lunch program. I think I have verizon DSL as well but it’s through lifeline and I think I have to choose the internet or the cell phone? and the internet is real slow, not sure it’d be good for watching movies.

    actually the cell phone hotspot might be a good idea, safelink has a 40gigs a month, I’d have to check how much I use with my internet now. I thought tracfone or one of them had unlimited but I don’t see it now. is this type of connection good if you watch movies or play games?

    If you see a cheaper internet deal don’t be afraid to call your provider and try to haggle to see if they’ll match the price. Say you’ll switch and they’ll try to keep you as a customer. there are pay services that offer to do this for you but since most of us have alot of free time you can do it for free.

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  3. Hope this helps… I was using a MiFi mobile hotspot device, with a $10/mo 2GB LTE data package from T-Mobile, buy the SIM online and sign up for T-Mobile prepaid data only service. Once the 2GB high speed data is up your speed drops to 2G speed. Depending on what you’re doing, well, it’s still $10/mo.

    Right now I’m in a situation where I signed up for comcast because I was working from home. Then working from home had me earning too much and I left. Now I’m locked in, and can’t just cancel for 90 days… am close to homebound. Likewise, I have XFINITY MOBILE for my cell phone now and got a free iPad if I added it to my shared data plan. Hoping to find a way out to save money, but haven’t yet… in for another year and 6 months unless I pay off iPad, its “free with monthly promo credits”.

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  4. Another option is to offer to pay a neighbor in advance to share their wifi for three months. They may be more willing if you explain your disability, low income, and Comcast’s rules.

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