How to Find Inexpensive Internet for Seniors

Age Friendly Silicon Valley recently released a report on low-cost and free Internet options for seniors.

I was surprised to find so many resources in the area. I hope you or someone you know might benefit. Pass it on!

We do of course have free WIFI at every branch of the Palo Alto City Library and many city buildings (including one of my favorites, Foothills Nature Interpretive Center) but I thought it might be helpful to show some other ways get internet access at home or on the go.

Discount Plans

Local ISPs like Comcast are currently offering free internet service for households who qualify. This is a limited time offering through the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit program. This program is designed for families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic

The report also highlights which, as of this blog post, lists 18 other internet service providers across the country and their discount. These all have different applications processes so it's best to click-through to see for yourself. They include:

  • Comcast Xfinity
  • Charter Communications
  • AT&T
  • PCs for People
  • Human-I-T
  • Cox Communications
  • Altice USA
  • Mediacom Communications
  • Wave
  • Sonic
  • Consolidated Communications
  • Atlantic Broadband
  • Verizon
  • RCN
  • Grande Communications
  • Charter-Spectrum

Wireless Hotspots

We do not currently loan out internet hot spots, but there are library systems nearby that do provide this service. Note that to get a library card, most public libraries in California only require you show proof of residence within the state.

Although not specifically for seniors, I also want to highlight Community Tech Network's Home Connect Program mentioned in this report, and the San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund. Here is their list of 2021 Digital Inclusion grantees:

Find out more at the Department of Aging and Adult Services in Santa Clara County.