Many households have experienced significant disruptions with their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a struggle to just pay the basic utilities and to purchase food for many families while also trying to stay connected to family members, friends, employers, teachers, and other members of society. When lockdowns were initiated, it became clear that internet services were important and should be considered a necessity instead of a luxury.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit program was established by the federal government and has assisted several families across the country by providing a monthly amount that’s paid on their internet bills. Families have also received assistance through the Lifeline program with free cell phones and deductions from their monthly bills. Aside from these programs, there are a few ways that you can lower the overall cost of what you pay for the internet.
One of the ways to lower your internet cost is to lower your overall speed. While faster speeds can be beneficial for gaming, streaming videos, and viewing HD content in brilliant fashion, it can also make your monthly bill increase. By bumping your internet speed down to a lower package, you might be surprised about how much money you save during the year. Before lowering your speed, you should think about exactly what you use the internet for in your home and if you can utilize the data on your mobile device for the same activities.
If you have several services with one provider, then consider asking about a bundle price. While it might not save an astronomical amount of money, you’ll likely see some savings each month, especially as you begin adding more services to your bill. Most companies offer ways to tie in your cellphone with your streaming services for TV packages, internet, and home phone services so that everything is paid at one time.
When you initially connect with an internet provider, you might have to rent the equipment that you need, such as a modem or a router. The company could charge a monthly fee for as long as you have services with them or could charge a monthly fee until the equipment is paid in full. If at all possible, try to purchase your own equipment from another source so that you don’t have to pay these extra fees. Sometimes, companies require a deposit for the equipment that you rent as well, which is something that you won’t have to pay if you purchase your own.
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If you’re having trouble paying your internet bill, then apply for the EBB program. You can usually complete an application online or through your satellite internet provider. Most of the time, a decision is made within a few days so that you know how much assistance up to $50 a month you’ll receive. The program also offers a subsidy amount that can be used for the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or other items that are used to access the internet, which can further save you money if you don’t have these items at home or if there’s someone who could benefit from their own device.
Just as you might do with other major purchases, you should shop around for the best internet provider with an affordable price and great service. Take notes about bundle plans that are available, the speeds that are available, and the type of internet connection you would get before making a decision. You can usually negotiate with a provider if you find services that are cheaper or if your contract is about to expire so that you keep your rate or get one that’s lower.
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