Having access to the Internet was once considered a luxury that only above average to high-income families could afford. However, Internet access has quickly become a necessity for all families, as it is now needed for such things as applying for jobs, paying bills, and even checking for school cancellations. However, for many families, having access to high speed Internet is not exactly affordable. Fortunately, more options are starting to become available for low-income families to gain access to the Internet at a very cheap rate.

Low-income families that are searching for cheap Internet access have a variety of options available to them. Affordable Internet is now widely offered among many service providers, though it generally is not advertised. For those low-income families that wish to find cheap Internet access, it is strongly advised that they contact various companies to inquire about either free or heavily discounted Internet access plans.

Many companies may offer free Internet access for a limited time period with various stipulations. For example, a service provider may offer low-income families a few months of free Internet access provided that they utilize other services offered by the company. While such programs are not frequently advertised, it is always best to contact a company’s promotional department anyways in order to see what options are available.

Aside from possible promotions, those low-income families looking for cheap Internet options will be able to find highly discount rates for dial-up access. While dial-up access will not be feasible for those looking to download files or stream video, it will provide low-income families with the ability to check email and pay bills online. Many Internet service providers offer dial-up access for as low as five dollars per month.

A new, cheap high-speed Internet option recently became available to low-income families looking for more complete Internet access. As a result of their acquisition of NBC Universal, Comcast was required to offer an affordable high-speed Internet option for low-income families. As such, Comcast recently announced a plan known as Internet Essentials. The plan offers qualifying families DSL-speed Internet access for less than ten dollars per month.

In order to qualify for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, families must be in an area that has Comcast service. They must have at least one child that qualifies for free or reduced school lunch, and must not have an overdue Comcast bill. If they fit all of these categories, they’ll be able to get high-speed Internet access from Comcast for less than ten dollars per month.

Affordable Internet options are readily available for low-income families in need. For those that still may not be able to afford the new plan offered by Comcast, or do not have a provider that offers dial-up access, there are other alternatives in which Internet access can be obtained. There are still a number of different shopping centers and restaurants that offer free WiFi access to customers. While it is not the most ideal option, it does enable low-income families to access the Internet for free when absolutely needed.