Xfinity Flex Streaming Device
If you have heard of Roku or Fire TV Stick, then Xfinity Flex is just another way to stream television to your TV through your internet connection. The Xfinity Flex device is compatible with most major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Plus, it includes Peacock Premium for free, which is NBC’s exclusive content app. Xfinity Flex is included with any Xfinity internet plan at no additional cost. Before you spend money on a third-party streaming device, find out if this add-on is available with your internet package.
Is There Free Internet For Seniors
If your post-retirement budget is tight, you’re not alone. Many older adults, including veterans, lower-income seniors, and those with disabilities, struggle to pay for internet coverage. Nearly 22 million American seniors don’t have internet access at home. This represents 42 percent of the nation’s over-65 population.2 Luckily, there are a few options for affordable internet.
Participants in Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income , Supplemental Nutritional Access Program , Veterans benefits, and other federal and state assistance programs may be eligible for free or low-cost internet through these Federal Communications Commission programs:
- Affordable Connectivity Program: The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.This program also provides a one time, $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop.
- Lifeline: Lifeline provides up to a $9.25 monthly internet discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers and up to $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands.
Want to learn more about free internet for seniors? Watch our video below!
The Affordable Connectivity Program For Seniors
On January 1, 2022, the FCC replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit with the Affordable Connectivity Program , a new long-term 14.2 billion fund that helps low-income Americans, including seniors, pay for internet service and computer devices. If you qualify, the program can save you up to $30 per month off broadband service and up to $100 off a laptop, desktop, or tablet .
AARP endorsement: Dawit Kahsai, senior legislative representative of AARP, has high hopes for the ACP, stating that we have an opportunity to put a dentin the digital divide.
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Qualifying Programs For Internet Discounts
Most internet providers dont have senior-specific discounts. However, you may qualify for a discount on your internet plan if you are currently enrolled in low-income and government programs. These may include:
- Veteran government assistance
- Senior government assistance
You should check with your favorite internet provider to see if they offer a discount for any of these programs. Oftentimes this information is hidden from view. Well also highlight a few known low-cost internet for seniors below that could be useful for your family.
Who Is Eligible For The Acp
Households that have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four, 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline is $55,500.
People who use certain federal assistance programs, including Federal Public Housing Assistance, Lifeline, Medicaid, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children , the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Supplemental Security Income . Lifeline offers up to a $9.25 discount off monthly phone or internet bills to households that make less than 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or have at least one family member in some public assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP or SSI. For a family of four to qualify based on 135 percent of this years federal poverty guidelines, its annual income would need to be below $37,463.
People who already use a discounted internet service from a high-speed internet provider that is aimed at low-income households. For example, AT& T offers internet access for $10 or less a month to households in which at least one person participates in SNAP. Cox offers internet service for $9.95 a month to new customers with at least one K-12 student in the household who qualifies for public assistance.
Households whose children get free or low-cost school meals.
College students who receive student aid in the form of federal Pell grants.
Where to apply
Older Adults Technology Services from AARP through its AgingConnected service
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Finding A Competitive Provider Could Get Easier
One of the challenges of finding an affordable internet plan is that ISPs often engage in anticompetitive practices that allow them to inflate prices instead of following market demand. This puts a huge burden on those with fixed incomes, as well as those who live in rural areas.
To address this lack of competition among broadband providers, the White House issued an executive order instructing the FCC to uphold certain standards for ISPs, including preventing them from engaging in certain anticompetitive practices and requiring them to make pricing more transparent, to limit excessive early termination fees, and to restore net neutrality.2 If implemented by the FCC, these measures could reduce the cost of internet access for many Americans.
Free Internet For Senior Citizens
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Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Taxes and fees may apply.
Youve probably noticed the final prices after Lifeline assistance are higher than those from ISP low-income programs. But dont write Lifeline offits a big help when providers in your area dont offer their own initiatives. Lifeline makes internet accessible across the country, so its always an option if you qualify.
Not sure which of these providers are available where you are? Enter your zip code to see your options:
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Average Cost Of Internet
Americans pay an average of about $64 per month for internet, but these costs largely depend on the connection speed and provider you choose. You can find internet for under $30 per month, but it will likely come with lessened download speeds.
In many cases, you can check whether your internet provider offers bundle options to save more on your monthly internet bill. Providers may offer a certain discount for bundling your internet, TV, phone, or home security services.
Choose A Reliable Connection Type
Having a reliable internet connection is the factor most important to your peace of mind when choosing a service provider. Certain types of internet are inherently reliable, while others can suffer from various types of interruption.
- Fiberthe fastest connection with the least chance of disconnections and slowdowns.
- Cablenot as fast as fiber, but still pretty fast and easier to find.
- DSLrelatively slow with a connection that worsens depending on how far you live from your providers nearest hub.
- Satelliteslow and fickle. Weather can interfere with your signal.
The type of internet you can choose is highly dependent on where you live. Most areas have access to only a few of these types of networks. If you do have several different choices, we suggest going with fiber or cable to get the most reliable connection possible.
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How Can Seniors Access Social Media
Seniors can access social media through a phone, on a computer or a tablet. Social media can be a bit intimidating, but its one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with friends and familyand its very easy to set up, requiring no extra costs or fees. If youre new to social media, start with one account on the platform that most of your friends and family use, like Facebook or Instagram.
What Is The Cheapest Internet Service For Seniors
The Comcast Internet Essentials program offers broadband internet for $9.95 per month* to those enrolled in a qualifying program such as SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, and more. If you dont qualify for the Internet Essentials program, or if you want to learn more about reduced-cost and free alternatives, check out our look at everything you need to know about free internet.
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Does Xfinity Offer Discounts For Seniors
Xfinity does not offer a discount that’s explicitly for seniors. Still, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program for low-income households — featuring a 50Mbps plan for $10 a month and free access to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots — does include eligibility that applies to seniors. Among the qualifications is participation in Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, public housing assistance and VA pension.
Affordable Connectivity Program Participation Increases Nearly 50 Percent Since First Of Year
by Ed Waldman, AARP, Updated September 7, 2022
Prapat Aowsakorn/Getty Images
Twenty internet service providers are offering high-speed internet access for no more than $30 a month to all U.S. households eligible for the federal governments $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program .
The program, which replaced 2021s temporary, pandemic-inspired Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, topped 13.5 million households as of Sept. 5, an increase of almost 50 percent since early January. The rate is specifically offered for ACP enrollees, who qualify because of their lower household income.
The need for high-speed internet is a little bit like it probably used to be like my grandfather talked about the need to have a telephone, President Joe Biden said May 9 at a White House ceremony. Its pretty consequential. High-speed internet is not a luxury any longer. Its a necessity.”
As the program has matured, the percentage of internet subscribers 50 and older has risen as a share of participants, according to ACP data as of July 1, the latest available. Late last year when the old program had 7.1 million subscribers, about 2 in 5 were 50 and older. That percentage has grown to more than 42 percent, including almost 2 million 65- to 84-year-olds and more than 140,000 subscribers 85 and older.
Join today and save 43% off the standard annual rate. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
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How Can I Get An Internet
For those who need help purchasing a computer, there are a number of organizations that can help. Some of these organizations also offer training programs for digital skills to help people get the most out of their new devices. Many of these organizations, like PCs for People and Human-I-T, focus on refurbishing old computers and reducing electronic waste.
Other organizations, such as EveryoneOn, are there to help people through the whole process of getting online. EveryoneOn helps people get computers, helps them find affordable internet service, and teaches digital skills through various training programs.
Do You Qualify For Acp
A household is eligible for ACP if one member of the household meets any of the following criteria:
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline
- Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. For more information, visit the Federal Communications Commissions website. You can also learn more on AARP.org.
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Things To Keep In Mind About At& t Internet
- Available in only 21 states: AT& T currently operates in only 21 states, with California, Texas, and Florida having the widest coverage.
- Added fees: Although prices start at $55 per month, AT& T also charges taxes and installation fees, so your bill might be higher than the listed price.
- Limited speeds available: Not all of AT& T’s advertised speeds are available in all locations. Internet speeds depend on your proximity to AT& T centers and service areas. Make sure you check to see the availability in your area.
Applying For Provider Internet Assistance Programs
Most internet providers make applying for internet assistance as straightforward as possible. The process usually consists of determining if service is available in your neighborhood, applying for the discount, and then verifying the discount. Here are the steps in a nutshell:
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$65 Billion For Improving Broadband Access
The Affordable Connectivity Program is just a part of the roughly $65 billion to improve access to high-quality, high-speed internet access contained in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law Nov. 15.
Some of that money will go toward what Kahsai calls digital equity. The new law allocates $2.75 billion for digital literacy training to make sure that everyone regardless of language, ability or age has the skills needed to take advantage of their connection to the internet.
About $42.5 billion is being allocated to bring high-speed internet to unserved areas that will benefit families of all incomes. These often include rural areas where population density is low and mountainous areas that can be challenging for companies to reach.
This new service also must have speeds of at least 100 Mbps for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads. Each state will start out with $100 million from that pot of money and will be able to get more based on its unserved and underserved needs.
With the new law, we have an opportunity to put a dent in the digital divide, Kahsai says.
Xfi Enhanced Gateway Security
xFi Enhanced Gateway Security
The internet can be a scary place, especially for older adults who often fall prey to hackers and scammers. Senior citizens are the target of scammers so frequently, it actually has its own name â elder fraud5. Get a little extra peace of mind with Xfinity’s xFi modem with enhanced security features.
Prices start at $14 per month for device rental. The xFi router helps block cyber threats, like hacker attacks or fake scam websites, to keep your connection as secure as possible. Alternatively, users can use their own modem and router, but will not be able to take advantage of the enhanced security offered with Xfinity’s xFi modem and router. This is a great add-on for aging adults as they can really benefit from enhanced security features, especially with the flood of advanced scammers and sweepstake-like scammers who often find ways to extort money from less tech-savvy seniors.
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Best Internet Deals For Seniors
If you’re a retiree looking for discounted broadband options, we can help. Here’s what you need to know about low-cost internet service for seniors.
Trey Paul is a CNET senior editor covering broadband. His 20+ years of experience as a writer and editor include time at CNET’s sister site, Allconnect, and working with clients like Yahoo!, Google, The New York Times and Choice Hotels. An avid movie fan, Trey’s career also includes being a film critic while obtaining his Master’s in Cinema Studies from NYU.
According to surveys taken by the Pew Research Center, 75% of adults ages 65 and over use the internet, and 64% use their home broadband connection to do so. These numbers have been rising steadily over the past decade, and they’ve become even more pronounced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. I think all of us have increased our use of FaceTime, Zoom and other video-chat tools.
The need to be online is acute, but too often, the price for being connected can be steep. That’s an amplified problem if you’re a retiree on a fixed income. How can you find cheap internet for seniors? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few ideas.
If I Dont Qualify For Lifeline Can I Still Get Discounted Internet
Yes, it may still be possible to get discounted internet even if you dont qualify for Lifeline. Internet providers such as AT& T, Verizon, and Xfinity have independent discount programs. Also, several nonprofit organizations help seniors get affordable internet. However, many of these programs ask for similar eligibility requirements as Lifeline.
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Where Can Seniors Learn To Use The Internet
Many nonprofit and community-based organizations provide both in-person and virtual digital literacy courses for seniors. For example, the nonprofit organization Oasis Connections offers affordable, virtual technology classes and related courses to seniors across the country.
This page is for everyone who feels lost in the digital age. Understanding the internet and TV market is difficult considering how much it changes.Here youll find information on the best ways to get internet and TV that can accommodate to your circumstances, answers to frequently asked questions about internet and TV technology and terminology and simple explanations to some of the most confusing topics related to internet and TV.
Saving Money On Internet Costs
If youre struggling to pay for internet service but dont qualify for one of the programs above, you can explore cheap internet options from a variety of providers and take other steps to reduce your bill, such as buying your own equipment if its cheaper and keeping an eye on hidden internet fees.
Another option is to rely on free public Wi-Fi if you live near any stores, cafes, public parks or other establishments offering free internet. Additionally, dont be afraid to ask providers about discounts. Many internet service providers offer discounts for military and veteran families as well as senior citizens.
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