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How To Get Low-Income Internet Through Xfinity

Xfinity’s Internet Essentials offers qualifying households an affordable replacement for the ACP

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. Fortunately, Xfinity has responded to the end of the ACP with a budget-friendly pair of internet plans: Xfinity Internet Essentials. These plans use similar qualifying criteria as the ACP, cost just $9.95 per month, and include some exclusive money-saving policies, like free equipment and no cancellation fees.

While there’s still an urgent need for a nationwide solution at the federal level, Xfinity Internet Essentials provides a timely alternative to keep your home connected without compromising your budget.

What happens when the ACP ends?

April was the last fully-funded month of the ACP, during which those in the program will receive their full benefit. In May, participants will only receive a partial payment or $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

With the end of the ACP, you may be one of the millions of households losing much-needed help with their internet bill, 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 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.

Do you know what internet options are available to you?

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Xfinity Internet Essentials

PackagePriceSpeedDetailsOrder online
Internet Essentials$9.95/mo.*Up to 50Mbps
  • Free rental equipment
  • No cancellation fees
  • 1.2TB data cap
View plan for Xfinity
Internet Essentials Plus$29.95/mo.*Up to 100Mbps
  • Free rental equipment
  • No cancellation fees
  • 1.2TB data cap
View plan for Xfinity

Xfinity Internet Essentials delivers everything you need for a decent home connection. The speeds are fast enough to accommodate all the usual online activities, like streaming, gaming, browsing, and downloading, and you get the same large data cap as Xfinity’s high-tier plans. Internet Essentials runs over Xfinity’s Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC) internet network, so you can count on a reliable and low-latency experience.

Internet Essentials also includes some exclusive budget-friendly policies: You get a free rental gateway, and you don’t have to pay any early termination fees if you need to cancel your service.

Which Internet Essentials plan is right for you?

Internet Essentials offers two speed tiers: 50Mbps and 100Mbps. Almost every household would benefit from having at least 100Mbps, which is enough bandwidth for multiple video streams with some leftover bandwidth for simultaneous web browsing and background activities. If you can afford the $29.95 monthly rate, we recommend you go for it.

But that doesn’t mean the 50Mbps doesn’t get the job done; 50Mbps is plenty of speed for browsing, gaming, or checking emails, even while watching up to one video stream. It’s when you add more than one video stream or start a big download that you’ll start to notice some local network congestion. If you live alone or with one other person, this may not be a huge issue. But you’ll have to schedule downloads mindfully and limit yourself to one video stream at a time for a smooth experience.

How to get Xfinity Internet Essentials

Xfinity Internet Essentials is purposed as an ACP replacement for Xfinity customers To qualify, you must meet certain eligibility criteria that are very similar to the late ACP’s eligibility requirements.

Xfinity Internet Essentials eligibility requirements

  • Be a participant of certain government assistance programs like Medicaid and SNAP (full list below).
  • Be a new Xfinity customer or a recent Xfinity ACP customer.
  • Have no outstanding debt in the last year on a Comcast account.
  • Live in an Xfinity service area.

List of Xfinity Internet Essentials eligible assistance programs

To be eligible for Internet Essentials, you must participate in one of the following programs and have the required documentation.

ProgramRequired documentation
MedicaidMedicaid card or most recent letter of eligibility (for any member of the household)
Public housing assistanceHousing assistance documentation, such as a HAP contract, lease, or documentation from HUD.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Approval letter
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)Eligibility letter
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)Eligibility letter
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)Participation letter
Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)Eligibility letter
Woman, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)Eligibility letter
Federal Pell GrantFinancial aid documentation from your institution
VA pensionEligibility determination letter
Tribal Assistance (including Tribal TANF, FDPIR, etc.)Eligibility determination letter

Other cheap Xfinity internet plans

If you don’t qualify for Xfinity Internet Essentials, you still have options for cheap internet service. One of these plans may be an even better fit if you have a large household or could use a little more internet speed.

PlanPriceSpeedOrder online
Connect$20.00/mo for 12 mo.*150MbpsView Plan for Xfinity
Connect More$35.00/mo. **200MbpsView Plan for Xfinity

Other providers with low-income programs

One reason the ACP worked so well is that it was nearly universal—all major internet providers participated in it 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 are some important differences between these programs.

Here are some other internet providers with affordable internet plans and programs tailored for low-income households:

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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.