Cheap Internet Providers in USA
There are a number of programs that provide low-cost or discounted high-speed internet service to low-income households in the United States. One such program is the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a discount on the cost of phone or internet service for eligible low-income households. To be eligible for the Lifeline program, a household must have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs.
What is Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity program is a government initiative designed to increase access to affordable, high-speed internet service in underserved communities. The program is designed to help bridge the “digital divide” by providing funding to internet service providers (ISPs) that offer low-cost internet plans to low-income households. The goal of the Affordable Connectivity program is to increase internet adoption and promote digital literacy among low-income households.
The Affordable Connectivity program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. It is part of the FCC’s broader efforts to increase access to affordable, high-speed internet service, which also includes the Lifeline program and the E-Rate program.
Highspeed internet is great, but when all you need is a simple connection for light browsing and streaming, a cheap internet plan may serve your needs, and your budget, better than those high-priced, high-speed plans. Many of the top internet providers offer plans starting in the $30- to $50-per-month range with plenty of speed for a variety of online activities. Your options will vary based on the available providers in your area, but low-cost internet plans aren’t as rare as they can seem.
This list of the best cheap ISPs, which is periodically updated, is a good place to start if you’re shopping for low-cost, high-value internet plans. The cheap internet providers highlighted here were chosen for their high nationwide availability and customer-friendly perks such as unlimited data or low equipment costs, as well as low pricing.
Cheapest Internet Providers
In mid-January of 2022, AT&T launched two multigig plans that, combined with its existing tiers, now give the company the lowest cost per Mbps for fiber internet of any major provider. Across five tiers, the cost per Mbps for AT&T Fiber plans is 10 cents. That includes unlimited data and no additional equipment rental fee either. A few other providers might approach that cost per Mbps with their promo offers, but even then, after you factor in the monthly modem rental fee, AT&T will end up being cheaper.
|Cheapest Internet plan: Internet 300
Cheapest plan price: $55 a month for up to 300Mbps
Cost per Mbps: 18 cents
Wi-Fi equipment fee: None
Expected all-in monthly cost: $55, plus taxes
Its cheapest plan comes with symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 500Mbps starting at just $50 a month when you enroll in autopay. Your equipment rental and unlimited data is also included in the price.
An all-in starting cost of $50 (remember to sign up for autopay) a month is cheaper than or on par with many major providers, including AT&T, CenturyLink and Spectrum, who also have entry plan starting rates of $50 to $55 a month. Not only are those plans more expensive and may come with equipment rental fees, they’re also slower than the 500Mbps you’ll get with Frontier FiberOptic.
|Cheapest Internet plan: Fiber 500
Cheapest plan price: $50 a month for up to 500Mbps (with autopay)
Cost per Mbps: 10 cents
Wi-Fi equipment fee: None
Expected all-in monthly cost: $50, plus taxes
Mediacom – Best Internet Plan for Rural Areas
Residents of rural areas throughout the Midwest and South as well as parts of Arizona and California can rely on Mediacom for cheap broadband service starting at around $20 a month for speeds up to 60Mbps.
The one downside to Mediacom’s cheapest Wi-Fi internet plan is the 200-gigabyte monthly data cap, which many households are likely to exceed (and incur an overage fee of $10 per 50GB block of data, up to a maximum of $50).
|Cheapest plan: Access Internet 60
Cheapest plan price: $20 a month for up to 60Mbps
Cost per Mbps: 33 cents
Wi-Fi equipment fee: $12 a month
Expected all-in monthly cost: $32, plus taxes
Comcast Xfinity – Best Cheap Cable ISP
Xfinity speeds and pricing vary by market, but the cheapest plan you’ll find from the provider is Xfinity Connect. At $25 to $30 per month depending on your location for download speeds up to 75Mbps, it isn’t the best internet deal you’re likely to find, but it is one of the cheaper broadband options available throughout much of the US.
Be prepared to keep your data usage under 1.2TB a month to avoid overage fees. Like Mediacom, Xfinity charges $10 per each 50GB block of data, but with Xfinity it could add a maximum of $100 to your bill.
|Cheapest plan: Xfinity Connect
Plan details: $25 or $30 per month for up to 75Mbps
Cost per Mbps: 33 or 40 cents
Wi-Fi equipment fee: $14 a month
Expected all-in monthly cost: $39 or $44, plus taxes
Cheap internet provider overview
Advice on cheap internet connection buying
There are a few things you can do to get the best deal on internet service:
- Shop around: Compare prices and packages from different internet service providers (ISPs) in your area to find the best deal.
- Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your ISP to get a better price.
- Consider bundling: Some ISPs offer discounts if you bundle internet service with other services such as TV or phone.
- Check for discounts: Many ISPs offer discounts for students, military personnel, and senior citizens.
- Look for promotional rates: Many ISPs offer promotional rates for new customers, so if you’re in the market for a new internet plan, you may be able to get a good deal.
- Consider your needs: Before you start shopping, think about what you’ll be using the internet for and how much speed and data you’ll need. This can help you find a plan that fits your needs without breaking the bank.