The Internet has become an essential service and a need of the hour. That’s because today most of our activities have become internet dependent, and things are serious now. Back in the day, these activities were only related to some basic work-related tasks, and most things were done for entertainment. But today the situation has become quite different on Assistance Programs.
Today the internet is being used for all things important and necessary. These activities range from work-related tasks, and by work, we mean that the entire employment routine is now being conducted over the internet. Educational activities are also centered on the internet now and although remote education is an old concept, today this is prevalent everywhere and has become the main source of education for many. Businesses are also being run through the internet and yes e-commerce is quite an old thing now but today this is the only form of business that is up and running.
This clearly shows one thing, all these activities that are being carried out on the internet today were already there for a long time now. However, it is only after the pandemic that these practices became absolutely necessary which in turn made the internet an essential service since the internet is the main life force behind all these activities.
Some freelancers also worked remotely back in the day, people from remote areas were used to online education, and e-commerce was already a big thing thanks to platforms like Amazon. But after the pandemic restricted every physical movement the world was forced to adopt these online channels and every worker became a remote worker, every business switched to e-commerce, and every student was forced to take online classes in a bid to continue the physical and economic endeavors.
But this is not all, because the pandemic not only proved to be a health hazard but it also was equally devastating for the economy as well. The main reason behind this was not everybody was able to adopt online channels and these solutions also became mainstreamed pretty late. By that time many were already jobless as a number of small firms stopped their operations. The situation for big companies was not good either, there were layoffs as many big industries also resorted to cost-cutting to make ends meet during this time. And subsequently, as a result of this economic downfall, inflation rose to an all-time high.
So people who were already struggling with unemployment also had to deal with the horrors of inflation and price hike. In times like these many were looking to reduce their additional expenses, and this cost-cutting was majorly focused on the entertainment budget. That is one reason why a trend like cord-cutting reached its peak during the pandemic as people were ditching their cable connections in favor of cheaper alternatives like internet streaming. So apart from all the work and educational avenues that the internet was already responsible for, now another major chunk of entertainment usage was also put on its shoulders.
EBB and other Internet Assistance Programs
Considering people were struggling financially and the ever-growing need for the internet, many governments were forced to list the internet as an essential service, and just like aid and assistance programs in other prospects, there were many for the internet as well. The most famous one was the Emergency Broadband Benefit program also known as EBB launched by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) of the US government that allowed eligible households to receive a grant of $50 with which they can pay their existing internet bill or get a new connection.
While the program which is currently available is FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a discount of up to $30 per month on internet services for eligible households. On the flip side, there were service providers that were offering discounts and promotional pricing for the internet services. Cox Communications was one such provider that offered discounts for new customers. Not only this but Cox prices are still significantly more economical than other service providers.
Assistance Programs by Internet Providers
Since government can’t take the burden of everybody considering their own limited resources and finical pressure. In a bid to counter that, many service providers also have their own assistance programs for people with low income. So those who are not qualified to receive government grants can try their luck in some of the below-mentioned assistance programs.
Spectrum Internet Assist
Spectrum is the second biggest provider in the country by the number of subscribers so it was obvious that they were going to do something to help their customers, and they did it brilliantly. Spectrum Internet Assist is a special package from the provider targeted at low-income households. This package allows users to get a good 30Mbps internet connection from Spectrum at a very special and affordable price. All standard perks like unlimited data and free modem are included in this package along with no term commitments. Customers can visit Spectrum’s official website to check eligibility and fill out a form to make themselves enrolled in the program.
The second option comes from Cox Communications a provider we discussed earlier. Cox is the third-largest cable company and they also have great internet service as well. They also have a special internet program specifically for students by the name of Cox Connect2Compete. This program allows users to get Cox’s 25Mbps internet at an extremely low cost, allowing students to use this connection for their educational activities. Households with any child who is studying up till K-12 are allowed to enroll in this program. Users can visit the official Cox website to check the complete terms of eligibility along with the option to enroll.
Xfinity Internet Essentials
This is an offer provided by the biggest internet company in the USA, Xfinity. The Xfinity Internet essentials allow selected customers to get an internet connection ranging from 10 to 50Mbps of speed at a terrifically low cost. While the best part is that those new customers that will apply by June 30, 2022, may get two months of free service. The thing that makes this program different from others is that there are no activation or equipment rental fees and Xfinity’s Wireless gateway which is basically a modem and Wifi router is included without any additional cost.
The Internet has become an essential service due to our immense amount of dependence on it, especially after the pandemic. That is why the government and internet providers alike are offering different schemes and assistance programs like the ones discussed above in a bid to make the internet accessible to every type of customer, regardless of their financial situation, which is a very positive sign.