Accessing the Internet doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, nor do you have to use your neighbor’s Internet service. Inexpensive or cheap broadband service is available from a variety of Internet Service Providers, including national providers like T-Mobile and NetZero. Broadband Internet service is even available from ISPs that are based in your area or region, as well as from your local telephone company. However, cheap broadband Internet service doesn’t offer the highest in download speeds and you may experience data usage limits.
Local ISPs and telephone companies
To start your search for a cheap broadband service provider, consult your Yellow Pages or similar directory listing under the heading “Internet Service Providers” or “Telephone Service.” Local companies offer a variety of Internet packages that include not only Internet service, but also email service. Call one or more local companies and compare prices and Internet packages. If contacting your local telephone company, you may also receive a discount on your broadband service if you “bundle” the service along with your telephone service. Local companies may also be able to offer you a cheap broadband package if you are low income, retired or disabled.
NetZero and FreedomPOP
If you would like to stick with a national company or local Internet Service Providers are not available, contact NetZero or FreedomPOP. Both companies offer a variety of cheap broadband Internet service. NetZero even offers a free broadband service, but data limits do apply – the plan includes 200 Megabytes of data per month. The broadband package’s speed is 10 Megabits per second. NetZero’s other broadband packages vary in speed and price. FreedomPOP also offers a free broadband package that includes 1 Gigabyte of data per month. Both companies require you to rent or purchase a broadband router and complete a sign-up process.
If you already have cable television, consult your cable television provider and inquire about the company’s cheapest broadband package. You may also receive a discount if you “bundle” services. Cable television companies that provide broadband service includes Xfinity, Cox, Cablevision, Time-Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter, as well as Mediacom. You also qualify for the Connect2Compete program if you have children and you are low income.
T-Mobile and cellular companies
Cellular companies, including T-Mobile and Verizon, also offer cheap broadband service as well as equipment for accessing Internet service on mobile devices. Cellular broadband packages vary in speed and data limits, but you can select your data limit – as low as 500 MB per month and up to 12 GB per month. Note, you may have to a pay a minimal setup fee when you sign up for cellular broadband service.
National broadband map
If you are still unable to find a cheap broadband package, navigate your computer’s Internet browser to the National Broadband Map website – www.broadbandmap.gov and enter your street address in the box next to “Find Broadband.” The broadband Internet service search engine is free and accessible anywhere the United States. A listing of available broadband Internet service providers will appear under the heading “Search Results: Broadband Providers for this Area.” Click on a company’s name to access contact information related to that company.