What do you think of free or discounted internet service? Thanks to a new temporary federal program, millions of Americans could qualify. Consumer Reports reveals who is eligible and offers tips anyone can use to pay less for broadband service.
So who is eligible for this internet discount of up to $ 50 per month? You are if you have lost your job or been on leave, have an income of 135% or less of federal poverty guidelines, use assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid or Lifeline, or if you are currently a recipient of a Pell grant.
And those who qualify can also get a one-time discount of up to $ 100 on a laptop, desktop or tablet.
Check the Federal Communications Commission website first to see if your ISP is participating in the program. There are three ways to apply:
- Contact your supplier to learn more about their application process
- Apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org
- Call 833-511-0311 for a request by mail
And if you’re not eligible, Consumer Reports says there are still ways to save on your bill. Buying your own modem or router instead of renting one from an Internet company can help save you money in the long run. Just make sure the modem is compatible with your ISP. This is something that you can often find on the provider’s website.
CR says another way to save is to request a rebate from your supplier; that’s all it takes. Calling on a weekday might also put you in touch with higher-level reps with better discounts that might be available.