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Where to find low-cost internet/phones/computers

Technology is amazing and has made our lives much easier. While once seen as something nice to have, cell phones and computers have become necessities in the past decade. Today on the blog we’ll take a look at local programs to help get you connected with low-cost internet, phones, computers, and hot spots.  

Before we go further, let’s define what a hotspot is. Per Wikipedia, A hotspot is “a physical location where people may obtain Internet access.” Public hotspots are places like libraries and coffee shops where you can connect to the internet while enjoying lunch or working. Private hotspots usually use a person’s data plan to provide or boost WIFI connection.

Computers 

Hotspots 

  • Click here to view a map of free internet hotspots in Michigan. 
    • Here is a list that you can search by city. 
  • Spectrum Mobile and Internet customers get free, unlimited access to nationwide hotspots. Click here to search for hotspots near you
    • Can sign up for free 30-day trial 
  • Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County offers free WIFI in our parking lot.  

Internet 

  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a federal program that offers a temporary $50 a month subsidy towards internet connectivity and $100 towards a computer. 
    • Temporary program created in response to COVID-19 
    • Call (833) 511-0311 or email EBBHelp@USAC.org 
  • The COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program is designed to keep Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent and/or utilities during COVID-19 in their homes. The program provides Covid Emergency Relief Assistance (CERA) for housing (rent), utility, and internet assistance to qualifying individuals or families. 
  • Access from AT&T offers internet connection at $10.00 per month without an installation fee. 
    • At least one resident in the household participates in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
    • For more information, call (855) 220-5211. 
  • Comcast Internet Essentials offers low-cost internet for new customers for 60 days. 
    • Includes option to purchase a low-cost computer. 
    • Visit the website to video chat with staff using ASL 
    • Call 1-855-846-8376 to speak to staff in English 
    • Call 1-855-765-6995 to speak with staff in Spanish 
  • Spectrum Internet Assist provides low-cost internet  for $14.99 per month, plus taxes and fees. 
  • Must have at least one student who participates in the National School Lunch Program 
  • CenturyLink® Internet Basics provides affordable Internet for $9.95 a month plus taxes and fees, with a 12-month contract. 
    • Must meet the income-based eligibility requirements OR if you, or someone in your household participates in one of the following federal or state assistance programs:  National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program, Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance; Tribal TANF. 
  • Access from AT&T provides low-cost internet to qualifying households in Michigan for $5-$10 a month. 
    • At least one household member must participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  • Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. 
    • Can be used for phone OR internet, but not both 
  • PCSforPeople offers unlimited data and prepaid internet 
    • Three prepaid plans are available: 3 months of service-$45 ($15/mo) 6 months of service-$85 ($14.16/mo) 12 months of service-$135 ($11.25/mo) 
    • A household needs to be 200% or below of the federal poverty level or be currently enrolled in an income-based government assistance program (e.g., SNAP).  
    • For more information, call (651) 354-2552 

Phones 

  • Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. 
    • Can be used for phone OR internet, but not both 

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