Frequently asked questions about low-cost internet

Where can I find the details on Spectrum’s low-cost plan?
News – Spectrum Internet Assist
Summary – Spectrum Internet Assist
Spectrum – toll-free 1-800-525-1574

How about AT&T’s low-cost plan?
AT&T Access

What does the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) consider to be high-speed internet?
The present FCC standard is a minimum of 25 Mbps (Megabits per second) download and 3 Mbps upload.

What is the average internet speed in Mecklenburg County?
In Mecklenburg County, the average download is 26 Mbps per second download and about 9 Mbps to upload.

What speeds does AT&T offer for their low-cost plan?
If it’s available in a specific area, AT&T Access speed could be as fast as 10 Mbps with speeds ranging to as low as 768 Kbps, depending on the area.

What speeds does Spectrum offer for their low-cost plan?
Spectrum Internet Assist, includes a 30 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload speed package.             

How much does each plan cost?
Spectrum Internet Assist is $14.99 per month. AT&T Access is generally $10 per month, but could be as low as $5 per month in some locations that only offer slower speeds.

What makes someone eligible for Spectrum’s low-cost plan?
Households are eligible if they have at least one child approved for the National School Lunch Program or Community Eligibility Provision. Seniors 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income are also eligible. Enrollees must also clear any outstanding debt with the company incurred within the last year, and enrollees cannot have had a market-rate subscription with the company within the past 30 days. Call 844-525-1574 to learn more.

How can someone be eligible for AT&T’s low-cost plan?
Eligibility requirements include households with at least one resident enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a home address within AT&T’s 21-state service area, and no outstanding debt with AT&T in the last six months.

When and how did AT&T’s low-cost plan start?
In July, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T’s acquisition of DIRECTV. Under terms of the approval, AT&T agreed for four years to offer discounted internet service to low-income households that qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

When and how did Spectrum’s low-cost plan start?
Spectrum is under no government obligation to provide its low-cost plan in North Carolina, but does so as a service to the community, according to Patrick Paterno, director of public relations for Spectrum in the Carolina Region. The plan launched November, 2016.

I’m on a market-rate plan now but I’m eligible for one of the low-cost plans. How do I switch?
Under Spectrum’s terms, you can not have had one of its market-rate plans for at least 30 days. For AT&T there is no wait. Customers can fill out an application and send it in.

Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.