Free internet is quickly becoming a reality for many people. What was once a luxury is now so commonplace that initiatives have been established to allow free internet access. So, how can you take advantage of this incredible offer? Let’s discuss.
Free Internet? Really?
To understand the ‘why’ behind free internet, we first need to go back to the time when COVID hit. Many people were forced to work from home, which served to highlight just how uneven internet ownership is in the United States.
On top that, there are internet programs in place that are designed to accommodate low-income households. With these options, we’re going to show you how you can get free internet.
In the modern age, the internet is a necessity. It’s no longer a nice feature to have but something most people are expected to have.
So if you don’t have internet and you’re interested in free options, here’s a complete rundown of the programs we found in our research.
In May of 2022, a joint effort by the United States government and various internet providers committed to offering low-cost internet service at just $30 a month. This is where the ‘free’ part comes in.
The newly-enacted Affordable Connectivity Program covers up to $30 a month for internet service. So if you sign up for one of the many low-cost internet plans and you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, your internet is essentially free. 
At present, there are no fewer than 20 providers signed on to offer low-cost internet. However, it is important to note that internet access isn’t available everywhere. So depending on your location, you may or may not have access to one of the 20 providers.
To see whether one of the committed providers is in your area, browse the list below:
- Vermont Telephone Company
- Jackson Energy Authority
- Cox Communications
- Allo Communications
- Verizon (Fios only)
- Hawaiian Telecom
- Vexus Fiber
As we discussed a moment ago, the COVID pandemic helped spread awareness regarding those who are unable to get internet access. This sparked an FCC-led initiative called Keep Americans Connected. This was an effort from the FCC to get internet providers to offer free Wi-Fi or to completely waive monthly service fees during the pandemic.
With the pandemic behind us, the Keep Americans Connected is officially over. However, there are still several providers that continue to offer free or low-cost internet options. 
One of the providers is HBC Internet. The company has suspended any disconnections, thus allowing many families to enjoy free internet. What’s more, HBC Internet isn’t enforcing late fees.
It’s important to note that HBC could scrap this decision at any time, since the pandemic is considered over. But as of this writing, it’s still in effect.
Aside from that, HBC has its own low-cost options. Moreover, the company even has a free broadband deal that allows low-income households to get 60 days of free internet service. But you must first make sure that you qualify. So be sure to contact HBC to see where you stand.
Not Free but Close to It
For many people, $30 a month is still a lot of money to pay for internet service. Thankfully, Xfinity has stepped in to offer a low-cost package that is certain to garner attention.
For just $9.95 a month, qualifying households can get the Internet Essential plan. It’s worth mentioning that this low-cost plan (understandably) had slower connection speeds compared to some of the pricier internet plans out there.
But in light of the pandemic, Xfinity decided to increase the speeds of its Internet Essentials plan. Even better, this change is going to be a permanent fixture. So now you can sign up for super low-cost internet and enjoy comparable speeds.
For the Kids
If you have kids or grandkids who received a tablet from their school, AT&T offers free data plans just for them. So now, they can rest easy knowing that they have internet access to do their schoolwork on their tablet.
To take advantage of AT&T’s school tablet data program, you must first be signed up to receive SNAP benefits and/or SSI. Please note that this program is currently only available to families in California. However, it’s possible that AT&T will extend it to elsewhere in the United States.
Free Internet and Beyond
These are just a few of the options you have available to you. It’s a good idea to call around to the companies listed above to see what’s offered in your area.
But even if you can’t get a free internet plan where you live, you’re not totally out of options. More internet providers are expanding their Wi-Fi hotspots to cities across the country. So there’s a very good chance that you can connect to one of them free of charge.
Just keep in mind that open Wi-Fi networks aren’t as secure as one of your own. So you shouldn’t use personal information (SSN, credit card numbers, bank account info, etc.) when using a public Wi-Fi connection.
The most likely places that you’ll find these free Wi-Fi points are shopping centers, train and bus stations, and some public parks. While you may have to travel a short distance to get internet access, it is free, and you can use it as long as you like.
If you’re looking for free internet options, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure your computer is equipped with Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port. Most modern computers have these standard features, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to purchase them separately. Alternatively, you can use a smartphone if you have one to connect to Wi-Fi.
Also, there are many different ISPs out there. So it’s important to do your research and find one that will best suit your needs. Don’t hesitate to call them and ask what offers they have in your area.