Get the latest in kids' media, tech, and news right to your inbox
Search by Age and Topic
Follow Common Sense
5 Ways to Get the Internet When You Can't Afford It
For many families, access to broadband Internet can be a challenge. The Federal Communications Commission has added broadband Internet service to the 30-year-old Lifeline program which subsidizes voice service for low-income households. But until the service is widely available, there are some alternatives. Many do not know, for example, that there are plans accessible to families with low incomes. Look for providers in your area using everyoneon.org and Connect2Compete.
Here are five ideas that you can explore and use to connect to broadband Internet:
1. Public libraries: You can access broadband Internet in many public libraries, usually for a limited time, depending on where you live.
2. Places with Wi-Fi: Most food chains and stores offer free access for those who use or consume their services. In some places there are time constraints.
3. Friends, family and neighbors: Find people who are close to you and have broadband Internet in their home.
4. Share the cost: Try coordinating with one or two families who live near you and explore the possibility of splitting the cost for access between all. Look at the amount of gigabytes offered by the provider to be a service that can be used without difficulty.
5. Computer labs in schools: Most schools have computer centers. Ask what times are available after school for your children to do their homework.