How to Get Cheap Internet Access

If you want to drop cable and take advantage of cable TV alternatives, you need to find affordable internet service. There are federal programs like the Lifeline Program to help with internet costs, but not everyone is eligible.

Promotional rates for internet access are reasonably cheap. It’s not uncommon to find deals providing 100 Mbps for under $50 per month. However, those promotional rates expire after 1-2 years. After that, your cost for internet access can jump by 50% or more. This article is going to give you a way to keep your internet access costs low to save you money.

Getting Low-Cost Internet Access

The problem with promotional rates is they are typically only available to new customers. Once the ISP has you in their grasp, they aren’t likely to hand you savings for no reason. However, there are ways to get them to offer you the promotional rate, even if you are an existing customer.

For those living in an area with multiple ISPs providing decent bandwidth, this isn’t a problem. You can bounce back and forth between those providers and take advantage of the promotional rates. When your promotional price expires with your current provides, cancel, and switch to their competitor.

However, most people don’t have that option. A recent study we conducted shows more than two-thirds of the U.S. lack broadband options. So what do people living in those areas do? Complaining to your ISP isn’t likely to work. You can threaten to drop their service, hold your breath, and rant all you want. They probably won’t offer you a lower rate. Those that have tried this know all to well this doesn’t work.

If you want to get their attention, let them know you mean business by setting a cancellation date for your service. So that’s what we are going to do. If the customer service rep asks who you are going to use for internet access, you can give them the name of a DSL or satellite provider in your area. While a broadband competitor offering over 25 Mbps may be hard to find, you can typically find DSL, and always find satellite internet access. To find an option in your area, use our tool that allows you to find internet providers by zip code.

I know what you are thinking. How does that help? You can’t cut the cord without internet access. Well, here is the trick. You aren’t really going to cancel. When you tell them you are canceling their service, they will ask you to set a date to terminate your service. Set your turnoff date for 2-3 weeks in the future. Make sure you set a reminder one day before the actual turnoff. Most providers have a procedure to try and recapture lost business. They are very likely to call you before the turn off date to offer a promotional rate.

If they don’t call and offer you the promotional rate, call back the day before the turn-off date and tell them you changed your mind. While I can’t guarantee this will work 100% of the time, it will work more often than not.

ISP Promotional Rates

The pages below will provide you with some options on promotional rates for various ISPs. We also provided information on available internet-only plans and a way to find an internet provider by zip code.

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Dennis Restauro: @GroundedReason Dennis is the editor in chief at Grounded Reason. Before writing about using technology to save you money he spent 20 years working in the tech sector as a sysadmin, an analyst, and an enterprise architect.