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Stuck at Home Guide: How to Get Online



Everyone now knows that you should not go out now except the basic needs, especially if you are over 60. It is social distancing, and it is supposed to slow down the transmission of coronavirus. [19659002] So no more sitting in cafes, meeting a friend for lunch or attending a class at the Art Students League. But in just a week, a whole new world has emerged on the internet. Zumba lessons online, pajamas, painting lessons, religious services and more are spreading faster than the virus itself.

But what about 41% of the elderly with no internet connection to the home? If you have "borrowed" a connection (at a library or other place that can be closed for quarantine), or if you know someone who is not connected at home, then the key is to make sure that the connection is available to us all strange and scary time.

"During this extraordinary time, not having internet service at home will leave many retirees socially isolated," said Charles Douglas, Comcast's spokesman. "For their own safety, which now means more than ever, it is so important that we try to help connect as many elderly people as possible."

Low Price Internet Access

Many ISPs, including Comcast, have gone through this COVID-1

9 emergency to offer 60 days of free internet to seniors, people receiving SSI, Medicaid or housing assistance and others in need. Almost all offers are the same: free for 60 days, then $ 10 to $ 15 a month thereafter. Just keep in mind that there is an application process to prove that you are eligible – though it is a good idea for all the elderly, even if they are not sure they are, to go ahead and apply anyway.

You can also apply online to get your new online service. Catch-22, you say? If you have a mobile phone (see section below), or know someone who can apply online on your behalf, it is possible . Comcast's Douglas adds that if you live in a modern coaxial cable building, you don't have to visit technicians. They send a free starter pack with instructions on how to get started. Visits by technicians have largely been limited, but are still possible.

Not all Internet companies offer services to all locations in the United States. Click on the links or call the numbers to see if it is in your area. And make sure the speed is at least 25 Mbps, which is what you need to watch video online.

Here are some sources for cheap internet connection:

  • Comcast Internet Essentials: 1-855-846-8376 / 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish / video chat in ASL on their website!
    • New customers get 60 days internet free
    • Includes combined modem and router
    • Increased speeds for new and existing customers
    • After 60 days cost is $ 9.95 / month + tax
    • Intended for low-income households : eligibility changes regularly so that older people should move on and register!
    • Xfinity WiFi free for all
    • Break data capsules
    • No connections or late fees
    • Service areas in 39 states
  • Spectrum Internet Assist: 1-855-243-8892
    • New customers with a student in the household (K-college) will get 60 days internet free & installation fees lifted

    • Includes modem + options to add $ 5 / month for router & WiFi

    • After 60 days cost is $ 14.99 / month + tax

    • Seniors 65+ and eligible for SSI

    • Service Areas in 45 states including NY, CA and TX

  • Altice Advantage: 844-358-3147
    • New customers with a student in the household (K-college) will get 60 days internet free & installed fees
    • After 60 days cost is $ 14.99 / month + tax
    • Includes modem and router [19659012] Discounted Installation Fee
    • Seniors 65+ and eligible for SSI
    • Service areas include NY, NJ, TX, NC
  • Verizon: 1-800-837-4966
    • Verizon participates in the National Lifeline Program which offers discounted internet access to low income applicants
    • Service areas include DC, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA and CT [19659012] About If you do not qualify for the Lifeline program, you can get FiOS internet from about $ 40 / month.
  • AT&T: 855-220-5211
    • Offers two months of free service to new Access customers who order by April 30, 2020. $ 5 / mo or $ 10 / mo thereafter, depending on your speed.
    • Expanding eligibility
    • Wait for all excessive fees for home market info
    • Free installation
    • Only up to 10 Mbps.
  • Century: 1-855-954-6546
    • Available in some rural areas
    • Participates in the National Lifeline Program
  • Viasat: 855-810-1308
    • Available in some rural areas
    • Participates in the National Lifeline Program
  • HughesNet: 1-866-347-3292
    • Satellite Internet service in many rural areas
    • No low-income options, but a good alternative where other services are not available

Use your mobile phone

If you have a mobile phone, you probably have some type of data plan. When browsing the Internet or using many Internet-connected apps, you use your data. T-Mobile has provided unlimited information for anyone with a data plan. If you do not have a data plan or do not know if you do, you can call 611 to almost all mobile service providers to get customer service and find out. Or: check next to your carrier's name (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) on your phone – you see LTE, 4G or 5G. You can see your data usage in the Settings app.

Using your data plan, you can connect to Zoom video conferencing, YouTube pajamas, and Facebook sing-alongs – even if you are a complete beginner on the Internet, you need to learn how to register for things online and download apps. I suggest using your cell phone to call a friend on the internet, put it on the speakerphone and then return to the main screen to go through the steps needed. Good luck! If you help someone else, you can reassure them that it's ok to turn things on until you get them right. They will not break the internet. Advice: Almost all video conferencing platforms offer a free plan. Do not enter a credit card number if this is your first internet rodeo.

Internet hotspots for Wifi

Comcast has opened its nationwide Xfinity wifi hotspots for Internet searchers. This works with either a smart phone or a computer. If you are new to wifi, your wifi connection is probably under Settings (the icon looks like a switch). You get a list of available networks. Most networks around you have a lock icon that indicates they are private, but Xfinity will not. Note: open wifi networks are good, but does not use for mobile banking or any money, since they are open to hackers.

New York City and many other cities also have free wifi networks. Click here to find municipal hotspots in New York.


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