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By Nick Davis

Is cheap broadband Internet service available?

The Internet doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Inexpensive or cheap broadband service is available from a variety of Internet Service Providers. This includes national providers like T-Mobile and NetZero. Broadband Internet service nowadays is even available from your local telephone company. However, cheap broadband Internet service doesn’t offer the highest in download speeds and you may experience data usage limits.

Local ISPs and telephone companies.

To start your search for a cheap broadband service provider, consult your Yellow Pages or similar directory listing. Look for the heading “Internet Service Providers” or “Telephone Service.” Local companies offer a variety of packages. Call one or more local companies and compare prices and Internet packages. With your local telephone company, you may also receive a discount on your broadband if you “bundle” it with your telephone service. Local companies may also be able to offer you a cheap broadband package if you are low income, retired or disabled.

NetZero and FreedomPOP

If you would like to stick with a national company, contact NetZero or FreedomPOP. Both companies offer a variety of cheap broadband Internet services. NetZero even offers a free broadband service. data limits do apply – the plan includes 200 Megabytes of data per month. The broadband package’s speed is 10 Megabits per second. NetZero’s other broadband packages vary in speed and price. FreedomPOP also offers a free broadband package that includes 1 Gigabyte of data per month. Both companies require you to rent or purchase a broadband router and complete a sign-up process.

Cable companies

If you already have cable television, consult your cable television provider and inquire about the company’s cheapest broadband package. You may also receive a discount if you “bundle” services. Cable television companies that provide broadband service includes Xfinity, Cox, Cablevision, Time-Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter, as well as Mediacom. You also qualify for the Connect2Compete program if you have children and you are low income.

T-Mobile and cellular companies

Cellular companies, including T-Mobile and Verizon, also offer cheap broadband service as well as equipment for accessing Internet service on mobile devices. Cellular broadband packages vary in speed and data limits, but you can select your data limit – as low as 500 MB per month and up to 12 GB per month. Note, you may have to a pay a minimal setup fee when you sign up for cellular broadband service.

National broadband map

If you are still unable to find a cheap broadband package, navigate your computer’s Internet browser to the National Broadband Map website – and enter your street address in the box next to “Find Broadband.” The broadband Internet service search engine is free and accessible anywhere the United States. A listing of available broadband Internet service providers will appear under the heading “Search Results: Broadband Providers for this Area.” Click on a company’s name to access contact information related to that company.

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