Family, Kids & Relationships

Here’s how to get free internet access for you and your family

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These days, the internet is essential—but lots of families are struggling to pay their internet bill. Amid widespread inflation and the rising cost of living, internet providers have also been hiking up their prices over the last several years. 

Fortunately, there are now two programs in place to make internet access more affordable, or even free, for families who may have trouble affording internet service—the Affordable Connectivity Program and the Lifeline program.

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an initiative of the Biden Administration, and provides subsidies to families for their internet bill. Eligible families will receive $30 off their internet bill. Pairing this program with one of the 20 leading internet providers who have agreed to charge $30 or less per month to program participants can result in a $0 bill each month. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. 

Here’s how to sign up for this program—

  1. Qualifying households can fill out an application by mail in either English or Spanish, or you can sign up through your internet provider if they are participating in the program. For a full list of the participating internet service providers, head to the program’s website
  1. Once your application is approved, contact a participating internet provider to choose a plan and apply your benefit to that plan. There are over 1,300 providers that accept the ACP benefit.


Lifeline is another government program that can get you a discount on phone service or internet service. This benefit provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $9.25 on their internet or phone service. Families living on Tribal lands are eligible for an increased discount of up to $34.25 per month.

Here’s how to sign up for this program—

  1. Fill out the online application or enroll directly through your participating phone or internet provider. You can also apply by mail in English or Spanish
  1. Once your application is approved, choose a phone or internet company near you that offers the Lifeline benefit and sign up for service with them. You can also ask your current provider to apply your Lifeline discount to a service you are already getting if it offers the Lifeline benefit.

Families who qualify for both programs are able to stack their benefits for an even deeper discount on internet service. For example, you might use the ACP benefit to get free high speed internet access for your home, and apply the Lifeline benefit to your mobile phone bill. In addition to these helpful programs, you can also check with your local government and local nonprofit organizations to see if they offer any other affordable internet programs in your area. For help reducing other payments in your monthly budget, see our helpful guide to getting help with your rent and other bills.

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.