Low Income Internet Programs For Dallas Residents

There are several low income internet programs on offer from the two major providers in the Dallas area as of 2021.

That said, qualifying for these services can be more complicated than it seems, especially if you do not currently participate in governmental assistance programs like SNAP.

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Low Income Internet Explained

Both major internet service providers offer reduced-rate internet plans in the Dallas area. These plans are not connected to the Texas Lifeline program, meaning they can be used together if you choose to do so. In other words, you can use the Lifeline provisions to get a free or reduced price cellular plan while still signing up for a low income internet plan

It’s important to understand that none of these programs are government-affiliated; they are offered by the providers directly. This means that there are varying eligibility requirements for each, which we’ve laid out below.

AT&T’s program will even potentially allow you to receive a subsidized home computer if you do not already own one, so be sure to review each program before deciding on which one is right for you.

Our Quick Recommendation: Which Low Income Plan Is Best In Dallas?

Overall, we recommend the Spectrum Internet Assist program for most Dallas residents.

The initial monthly fees are higher than AT&T’s, but the lack of data caps (and the associated overage fees) more than make up for this unless you don’t plan to use your connection for anything but the most basic emailing and browsing.

If you opt for Spectrum’s service, I’d also recommend going with your own Wi-Fi router to avoid the additional $5 monthly add-on fee if possible.

That said, if you are in need of a new computer, and don’t plan to stream, game, or video chat with your connection, AT&T’s Access program may be worthwhile. It’s also the option that is cheapest overall, provided you don’t hit the monthly data limit (which would be challenging to do honestly, given the low bandwidth offered by the plan).

Spectrum Low Income Internet Program For Dallas Residents

Spectrum’s Internet Assist Program offers a basic 30 Mbps internet package for $17.99 per month, plus a 5$/month router fee (if you opt for it).

Plan NameSpeed Down/UpMonthly PriceWiFi FeeDetails
Spectrum Internet Assist30/4 Mbps$17.99/mo $5/moView Plan

Who Qualifies For Spectrum Internet Assist?

You qualify for Spectrum’s Internet Assist program if you meet either of the following criteria:

  • You have a student family member that participates in the National School Lunch Program
  • You have a family member that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the NSLP
  • You have a family member over the age of 65 that receives a form of SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

What is Included?

Here’s what you get with Spectrum’s Internet Assist Program:

  • A 30 Mbps download / 4 Mbps upload speed internet connection
  • No data limits or “caps”
  • No contract
  • Free installation
  • An optional Wi-Fi router for 5$ per month
  • Potential discounts on bundled TV and phone services from Spectrum

Is Spectrum Internet Assist A Good Deal In Dallas?

This basic plan has speeds that are slightly above the minimum broadband speeds of 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload, and as such, should be sufficient for most daily needs. The router fee is an annoying addition, but keep in mind that you will need a router to create a Wi-Fi network in your home (Spectrum will only provide a modem with the base service, which requires an ethernet cable to be used with any device you wish to connect).

You can frequently find basic Wi-Fi routers for $20-$40, so if feasible, I’d recommend purchasing your own and avoiding Spectrum’s recurring monthly fee.

The contract-free nature of Spectrum’s Internet Assist program is a big plus, as is the fact that there are no data caps. You won’t be surprised by an overage charge on your monthly bill. That said, this plan has increased in price over the past 5 years or so, so be aware that it could go up again.

AT&T Low Income Internet Program For Dallas Residents

Plan NameSpeed Down/UpMonthly PriceWiFi FeeDetails
AT&T Access 1010/Variable Mbps$10/mo $0/moView Plan

AT&T’s Access program will provide a connection that supports a variable speed for $10 or less, depending upon the infrastructure in your building.

Who Qualifies For AT&T Access?

Usually, AT&T Access requires that your family currently participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Access program (SNAP). However, they are temporarily expanding access to include access based on income, if you meet the following criteria:

Number of people in your householdMaximum household income
for each extra person, add:$6,048

What is Included?

Your AT&T Access internet plan includes the following:

  • An internet connection with speeds ranging from very slow (768 Kbps) to decent (10 Mbps)
  • Free installation
  • Free Wi-Fi router (no monthly charge like Spectrum)
  • 1 terabyte data cap
  • The option of getting a subsidized home computer if you do not currently own one

Is AT&T Access A Good Deal In Dallas?

AT&T’s Access program is a good fit if you are trying to spend the absolute least amount of money possible to get online. The speeds and services on offer will be quite limiting; you will have a hard time doing much of anything beyond the bare essential email and web browsing tasks.

The free installation and Wi-Fi router are nice gestures, but the real downside here is the data cap. Go over it, and you’ll be charged $10 for every additional 50GB of data. This can add up extremely quickly if doing something like streaming video or video chatting, so please keep this firmly in mind before signing up with AT&T Access.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get internet service on a fixed income?

Some fixed income Dallas residents may qualify for low income internet plans from both Spectrum and AT&T. To qualify, you’ll need to meet varying criteria, usually requiring your participation in a governmental aid program such as SNAP.

What is the cheapest internet in Dallas?

In terms of monthly rate, AT&T has the absolute cheapest plan with their AT&T Access internet service. It usually costs $10 for around 10 Mbps internet, provided you participate in a qualifying assistance program like SNAP. If you don’t, the company offers general internet plans from $30-$50 per month.

Does Spectrum offer low-income plans in Dallas?

Spectrum does offer their Spectrum Internet Assist program in the Dallas area. To qualify, you need to be able to prove your participation in a governmental aid program like SNAP. The plan costs about $18 per month, and has no contract or installation fees associated with it.

Page Summary
  • Spectrum offers the fastest speeds for a low-income plan around Dallas, however it costs more than twice the competing low-income plan from AT&T.
  • AT&T has the cheapest low-income plan in Dallas, for only $10 per month. However, the speed is less than half what Spectrum offers.
  • Low-income plans in Dallas are provided directy by local ISPs, they are not government-run programs.

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Last Update: November 28, 2020
Published: November 27, 2020
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