In a survey conducted by Pew Research in 2000, only 14% of people over the age of 65 reported using the internet. Today, that number has jumped to 67%. This significant increase in internet usage amongst seniors shouldn’t come as a surprise. Placing online grocery orders, attending virtual doctor visits, and calling loved ones on FaceTime are just some of the ways seniors can enrich their lives with the internet. However, some seniors aren’t sold on the idea of adding an extra bill to the pile every month. Luckily, there are plenty of internet discounts for seniors hoping to cut back on their internet payments and avoid unnecessary costs.
Internet discounts for seniors at CenturyLink
While most internet providers don’t offer special discounts for seniors, many still have reduced payments for those who qualify for other assistance programs. For example, CenturyLink offers several consumer assistance programs for qualifying customers, such as the Affordable Connectivity Program, Lifeline, and the Telephone Assistance Program (TAP).
- The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands. The program is limited to one monthly service discount per household.
- Telephone Assistance Programs are available at the state level. On the CenturyLink Telephone Assistance website, select your state to see information about any additional assistance programs available to you. Each state has its own application requirements, and not all states provide additional assistance.
- Lifeline is an FCC program designed for low-income consumers with affordability in mind. It provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone or broadband service purchased from participating providers. Many different phone and internet discounts for seniors are available, such as voice and broadband services, and bundled voice or broadband packages.
- Standard Lifeline — Provides federal monthly support of up to $9.25 for qualifying broadband service. In some states, additional monthly support is also available.
- Tribal Lifeline — Offers a monthly internet discount for seniors of up to $34.25 per month, as well as installation assistance through the Link-Up Program to qualifying customers who live on federally-recognized tribal lands.
Additional internet discounts for seniors
Seniors can also save on their internet bill by bundling services. With CenturyLink, you can bundle your internet and home phone for a low monthly rate with unlimited nationwide calling. Your customized bundle can include the internet you want with the home phone you need—all on one monthly bill.
Another way to save is by removing unnecessary add-ons from your bundle wherever possible. For example, you may watch more TV during the winter. In the summer months, however, you might be spending so much time outside that you don’t need it. In this case, you should consider canceling your TV service and adding it back to your bundle when you’ll be watching TV more frequently.
You can also save on your internet bill by determining the best internet speed for your home. This depends mainly on the size of your household and how you use the internet. If you live in a large household with multiple users streaming, gaming, attending classes, or working from home, you’ll need a high-speed package. But if you live alone and use the internet mainly for browsing, a 10 Mbps connection might be more than enough for you. Find out which internet speed is right for your home and choose your package accordingly.
Programs that help seniors get internet access
Along with internet providers that offer discounted services and packages for seniors, nonprofits and other organizations can help older adults gain access to the internet or upgrade their existing devices. Many of these programs and services have income limits. However, the following programs still offer free classes to help seniors learn more about the internet and their options regardless of income:
- The Community Tech Network’s Home Connect program, started in April 2020, helps older adults who are isolated and sheltering in place.
- Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) has a Senior Planet program that teaches technology to all ages nationwide in free online classes, concentrating on adults over 60 years. They are also launching an Aging Connected service to help people find low-cost internet.
Regardless of all the helpful programs out there, one of the best ways seniors can save on their internet bill is to stay aware of the latest deals. What programs or opportunities have you found to help you save on internet? We’d love to hear from you.