All cable companies to offer broadband to poor families for just $9.95 per month.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association just announced that it will begin offering discounted, high-speed internet service for just $9.95 per month to families whose children qualify for free lunches at their schools.

While it’s not a free program like the Lifeline Assistance free cell phone program, it certainly makes broadband far more affordable than it’s been in the past.

This is fantastic news for the 5,500,000 American families who are eligible. And the vast majority will be able to take advantage since the service area covers over 86% of the population and reaches all 50 states. The only bad news is that the offer won’t begin until the spring of 2012.

About 35 million homes don’t yet have broadband. Of course, the lack of internet access hinders people’s ability to find and apply for jobs online and even to take advantage of the many educational opportunities available online.

The program is called Connect-to-Compete. And it includes a broad range of companies in addition to the cable companies. For example, Microsoft is pledging to sell PCs loaded with software for just $250 to low-income families. Redemtech, another participant, will offer refurbished computers for just $150. If a family can’t afford even those low prices, Morgan Stanley has come up with a special lending program that it’s offering to community-based financial institutions.

And the news just keeps getting better and better. Best Buy, Microsoft and nonprofits such as America’s Promise Alliance and United Way say they will support Connect-to-Compete with computer training programs.

All major cable companies will offer the $9.95 per month program for a minimum of 1 Mbps download speed. That doesn’t include taxes, but the companies say they will also offer free installation and free modems.

Eligible families must (1) have at least one student enrolled in the Free School Lunch Program; (2) not be a current subscriber to broadband (or have subscribed in the last 90 days); and (3) not have an overdue bill or unreturned equipment to the participating service provider.

Participating Internet service providers include: Bend Cable, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast (via Internet Essentials), Cox Communications, Eagle Communications, GCI, Insight, Mediacom, Midcontinent, Sjoberg’s Cable, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable.

Also click through to the site, “Cheap Internet” page to read about other free or inexpensive broadband plans.

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  1. Byron says

    I’d like to recieve info. on free or low cost broadband for my computer in my apt. here in Chico, CA 95926

    Thanks for you time.
    Sincerely in Christ,

  2. Dean says

    I know a family in Detroit area that has two kids and are on the lunch program. They do not have a phone jack in there trailer. so how can they get the computer set up so the kids can do their school work.

      • rose dickerson says

        How do I sign up for free or low internet services? I have Atlantic broadband, but can not keep up with the bill. My daughters home work requires using the internet. My service is about to be turned off and ive been trying to get a phone through the state. I am disable and my income is very low. I have the home phone in which is on the plan, again its about to be shut off. I had a free goverment phone a couple of years ago and could not reach anyone to let them know the phone no longer worked, Ive been trying to get a free phone since. PLease help if you can direct me into the right place….thank you

  3. sonia says

    My prayers are answered! I am delighted to find out about this program. Now my grandchildren will have a better chance to be sure successful citizens. Although very young I try my best to help them. I really could not afford to give them internet. Now I can help with the monthly fees. Thank you. I do believe in miracles. This is a miracle. I have prayed for this. In fact I felt selfish for asking God to provide cheaper internet. I wake up this morning and I google my prayer requests. Then I was directed to this site. Miracles do happen. This is definitely a miracle. Thanks all who help this make this happen. I also thank you on behalf of my grandchildren.

  4. julie moore says

    I want to apply for the $9.99 internet with connect to compete, but you need a offer code and my childs school never heard of the program. Where can I get an offer code?

  5. Barb in Ohio says

    Since my pay check is being depleted by all these government benefits that aid the NON-Working people, I’d like to have some of these freebies. I can’t afford to pay my mortgage, my gas, water,electric, my internet, my cell phone and for the upkeep of my property. You people are draining me! LAZY AMERICANS!!!!

    • tcayegreen says

      To Barb in Ohio: I certainly will pray for you, and hope one day you are not disabled to the point you are on oxygen and have very little time left to live, relying on the meager social security benefits you paid for while working, and certainly hope you dont have to read hurtful and unjust comments like you have posted. I would give anything just to have my health back so I could work and do all those things in life people like you take for granted.

  6. vanessa reynolds says

    i am on disability and would really love to know if there is anyway i can get the free cell phone, the $9.98 high-speed internet, and have them bundled with directv. i already get directv-big package and i have a free government cell phone that i really like. but if i could use my smart phone with verizon for free, that would be the bomb!! my fear is caused by the fact that there is an individually-owned phone company that seems it has a monopoly on phone service here-richton and surrounding areas-ms 30476, and probably also on land-line internet. i will be keeping this in my prayers!!! i really appreciate all your time and HELP!! sincerely,
    vanessa ****– *****

    if a bundle isn’t possible, i would still be very happy with high-speed internet for $9.98 or so.
    i worry that all of these great offers will not be available here. i live in perry county, mississippi 39476-richton, ms. i’d love the bundle i mentioned earlier. if that becomes impossible, i still hope for, of course, at least

  7. Nancy Frazer says

    Why is it the opportunity’s for Internet access for the economically challenged is limited to those with children? President Clinton’s welfare reform act mandates people return to work within a specific period of time. It doesn’t say just those with kids. Then President Obama respond to the late-2000s recession, the primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage, later revised to $831 billion between 2009 and 2019.[1] The Act included direct spending in infrastructure, education, health, and energy, federal tax incentives, and expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions. Which brought us back to Tan-f and President Clinton’s Welfare Reform. Returning to work….you can’t mail in resume, you can’t walk in and fill our application, so how do you apply for jobs to get off the programs without computer access? There are physically disabled people that need this service AND DON’T HAVE CHILDREN but do meet the guidlines.

  8. Leticia says


    I’d like to know how to actually apply for this low-income internet. I have been researching a bit but I am not able to get to the actual application.

  9. Bonnie says

    Why do people ask about free internet when the article describes the information? 1) Read the article careful to identify the requirements 2) Once you fulfill the requirements contact your internet service company if it is one LISTED IN THE ARTICLE to obtain the services.