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How To Get Low-Income Internet Through Cox

Affordable Connectivity Program benefits are ending, but you can still get discounted internet through Cox

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has run out of funding and is shutting down, causing millions of Americans to lose the discounts they’ve relied on to afford their internet bill. Thankfully, Cox has its own pair of low-income programs: Cox ConnectAssist and Connect2Compete. These plans start at just $9.95 per month and use similar qualifying criteria as the ACP. In addition to the low rates, each plan includes budget-friendly policies that wipe away many of the common fees and roadblocks that make it difficult for low-income families to receive quality internet service.

While there’s still an urgent need for a nationwide solution at the federal level, Cox’s low-income internet plans provide an affordable alternative for families affected by the end of the ACP.

What happens when the ACP ends?

April was the last fully-funded month of the ACP where those in the program received their full benefit. In May, participants will only receive a partial payment of $7–$16 toward their monthly internet bill, rather than the full $30. After May, no one in the program will receive any benefits unless Congress chooses to fund the program once again.

Once the program has ended, those on plans wholly covered by the ACP plan will lose internet service completely unless they opt-in to receiving undiscounted service from their provider. ACP customers can also opt-out of their internet service at the end of the ACP.

To avoid an interruption in service, you must do the following:

  • Acknowledge receiving the disclosures about the ACP ending
  • Consent to receive internet service without the ACP discount
  • Pay your full bill for the upcoming month

You can also choose to switch to a different provider or cancel your connection entirely, though we’d suggest looking into other free and low-cost options first.

Alternatives to the ACP

You may be one of the millions of households losing much-needed help with their internet bill at the end of the ACP, but there are other government programs that may help you balance your budget.

The Lifeline program works similarly to the ACP by providing qualifying consumers a discount on internet and phone service, but it has stricter eligibility requirements—not all ACP participants will qualify for Lifeline. However, if you qualified for the ACP through one of the programs below, you probably qualify for the Lifeline program:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Medicaid
  • Tribal Programs for Native Americans

Lifeline also offers benefits based on income, but the threshold for Lifeline is 135% of the federal poverty guideline, rather than the 200% needed for the ACP. To check your eligibility for the program, visit the Lifeline website.

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Cox low-cost internet plans

PackagePriceSpeedDetailsOrder online
ConnectAssist$30.00/mo.*Up to 100Mbps
  • Free rental equipment
  • No cancellation fees
  • Free self-installation
  • 1,280GB data cap

View plan for Cox Communications
Connect2Compete$9.95/mo.*Up to 100Mbps
  • Free rental equipment
  • No cancellation fees
  • Free self-installation
  • 1280TB data cap
View plan for Cox Communications

Cox has two low-income assistance programs, each with different pricing and qualifying criteria (see eligibility requirements), but everything else about these plans is identical. Both provide solid speeds up to 100Mbps, which is plenty of bandwidth to do pretty much anything: Streaming, gaming, browsing, and downloading should all go off without a hitch. You can even support multiple simultaneous online activities with those speeds, but you’ll probably start to notice some slowdowns if you’re putting a large strain on your bandwidth, such as running three or more video streams or downloads at once.

Both plans also include the following benefits:

  • Free Wi-Fi modem rental
  • Free self-installation
  • No term contracts
  • No credit checks
  • High 1280TB data cap
  • Unlimited access to over 4 million Cox Wi-Fi hotspots

How to get Cox ConnectAssist

To be eligible for Cox’s ConnectAssist plan, you must participate in at least one of the following government assistance programs; you may also be required to show supporting documentation.

Cox ConnectAssist eligible programs

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Certain public housing
  • Pell Grant
  • Veterans pension
  • Certain tribal programs
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

How to get Cox Connect2Compete

To be eligible for Cox’s Connect2Compete, at least one member of your household must be a K-12 child who participates in at least one of the following government programs. Again, you may be required to show supporting documentation.

Cox Connect2Compete eligible programs

  • National School Lunch Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Head Start
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Public housing
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Other providers with low-income programs

One of the reasons that the ACP worked so well is that the program was nearly universal—all major internet providers participated in the program and had an incentive to tailor their own plans to work better with the subsidy it provided. Many ISPs have stepped up to fill the gap left by the end of the ACP, but while their requirements and benefits are similar, there’s some important differences between these programs.

Here are some other internet providers with affordable internet plans and programs:

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Additional resources

If you’d like to learn more about low-income programs and other ways to find affordable internet, there are lots of other articles on to help you learn about the topic.

Author -

Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.

Editor - Jessica Brooksby

Jessica loves bringing her passion for the written word and her love of tech into one space at She works with the team’s writers to revise strong, user-focused content so every reader can find the tech that works for them. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in English from Utah Valley University and seven years of creative and editorial experience. Outside of work, she spends her time gaming, reading, painting, and buying an excessive amount of Legend of Zelda merchandise.