Several network providers in the United States primarily offer their services in rural areas, and CenturyLink is one of them. The company participates in the FCC programs such as the CenturyLink affordable connectivity program that offer communicational benefits such as unlimited Internet at affordable prices. However, the program is generally offered to provide high-speed internet access mostly to low-income individuals. So, how to apply CenturyLink free internet? This is a question that is tackled later in the article.

    The company uses federal assistance programs such as ACP to offer affordable services. For example, the ACP offers $30 per month for internet bills or $75 per month for eligible Tribal households. You can also acquire a one-time discount of up to $100 towards purchasing a tablet, desktop computer, or laptop. The article discusses more the assistant programs.

    CenturyLink is arranging primary computer education and technology through senior centers, community groups, libraries, schools, and other state and local institutions in more than 100 markets in the entire country. Moreover, for you to participate in the CenturyLink Internet Basics, your eligibility is determined by the Lifeline Affordable Telephone Service criteria. This federal government program currently discounts essential monthly telephone services to qualified low-income customers.

    CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the US. The carrier offers wireless internet services and broadband voice to businesses and consumers. The company has many customers; it has 500 companies distributed in some of the country’s largest states and rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations.

    The company provides CenturyLink business internet and broadband networks in 25 states in the US. All customers must apply for the Lifeline program through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to receive the low-income benefits. CenturyLink also offers advanced entertainment services under DIRECTV brands and the CenturyLink (TM) Prism (TM) TV.

    Moreover, the company offers voice, data, and managed services to government, business, and wholesale customers in national, local, and selected international markets via its multiple data centers and the high-quality advanced fiber-optic network. CenturyLink leads in providing network services in the market, and critical technology industry analyst firms recognize it. The company is also a global leader in hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis and cloud infrastructure.

    The company’s primary aim is to provide internet service to low-income individuals. Therefore, the company participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to provide affordable or accessible internet services to low-income households and people living in rural areas. However, the program is only available to eligible households. An eligible customer can apply for the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program by following the steps below.

    • Complete the USAC eligibility verification. The National Verifier will notify you whether you qualify for the program benefits or not. When filling out the National Verifier form, utilize the same information as for the primary holder of your CenturyLink account. Visit the USAC Verifier website to confirm your ACP household’s eligibility status. The national verifier will then send you information regarding your status.
    • You will then have to fill out the CenturyLink form for the addition of a discount to your account. The customer is then free to contact the CenturyLink support team at 866-642-0444 to receive a new ACP service. Do not continue to the next step until you have communicated with an agent.
    • Complete the CenturyLink form to apply for the ACP discount through the company.

    The company is known for its best CenturyLink internet deals. It is also recognized as one of the best communication companies that provide high-speed internet connection at an affordable price. Some of the internet plans provided the CenturyLink plans include;

    This plan comes with a speed of up to 100 Mbps for $50 per month. Customers can minimize time lag by connecting all their devices simultaneously in a large house. Therefore, this is the fastest Century internet speed available. The plan gives you the bandwidth you require to minimize latency, share your speed with numerous users, and lower ping times.

    If you make the connections using DSL technology, you will get fast and reliable broadband high-speed internet in your home. DSL technology is available to almost 90% of US households. Besides, the high-speed Internet through DSL utilizes the available copper telephone cables to transmit and receive data between your home and the Internet. Moreover, the plan does not need additional equipment since homes have wired phone service.

    This plan is purchased at $65 per month. It comes with a maximum download and upload speed of 940 Mbps through a wired connection. It is the fastest Internet available offered by CenturyLink company. Additionally, Fiber gigabit-speed is transmitted on a fiber network to give excellent fast Internet.

    The CenturyLink plan is the one recommended for Internet users who are involved in activities that require high bandwidth, such as gaming or downloading new software at once on multiple devices. If you want more than no contract, high speeds, and affordable prices with a bundling option, you can opt for the cheapest tv and internet packages.

    The best internet plan provided by the company is the $50 per month plan which comes with unlimited data, no contract, no data overages, and a speed of 100Mbps. However, the company offers CenturyLink low-income internet programs to offer Internet at a whooping discount, not free. 

    The company participates in government assistance programs to help more low-income households access internet services starting at $9.95 per month, plus applicable taxes and fees. This plan is only available to qualifying customers in Arkansas and 36 other states where it has local operations.

    The service gives access to 1.5 Mbps downstream capability. Customers who need higher bandwidth services can receive the Internet at comparable discounts. Some of the programs include ACP, Lifeline, and Telephone Assistant programs. Eligible customers have access to the following support programs:

    i) Affordable Connectivity Program 

    Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal government assistance program that offers internet services to eligible customers.

    The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month for broadband service for eligible households and $75 per month for households on Tribal Lands. The ACP is limited to a monthly service discount per household.

    ii) Lifeline Program 

    This federal assistance program provides low-income-qualified customers with phone or internet service.

    Lifeline is the FCC’s program that helps make communication services more affordable to low-income consumers. Lifeline offers a discount on monthly telephone service purchased from participating providers. There are two lifeline programs which include;

    • Standard Lifeline — provides federal monthly support of up to $9.25 for qualifying broadband services and $5.25 for voice services. In some states, additional monthly support is also available.
    • Tribal Lifeline — provides a deeper monthly discount and installation assistance through the Link-Up program to eligible customers who reside on federally-recognized Tribal lands.

    The eligibility requirements for the Lifeline program include;

    • Lifeline is available to eligible customers in every state in America. Qualification requirements vary by state.
    • One Lifeline discount is only provided to one household, even if the household has more than one broadband account or a telephone, including landline or wireless service.
    • A household is any individual or group who live together at the same address and share expenses and income.
    • The household must be considered a low-income household; that is, the individual’s income is at or below the federal government poverty level or no more than 135%of the federal poverty guidelines.
    • The individual participates in other federal government assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), temporary assistance for needy families, Federal Public Housing Assistance, school lunch program, Medicaid, some tribal programs, head start, and many more.

    The Lifeline discount is not transferable, and only eligible customers may enroll in the program.

    iii) Telephone Assistance Program (TAP) 

    Assistance is offered at the state level. The program reduces the monthly cost of a residential phone line for low-income qualified customers who need such assistance. TAP also provides a Link-Up that reduces the cost of installing a customer’s main phone line by 50 percent and offers a deferred payment schedule for additional installation charges.

    To qualify for CenturyLink’s TAP discount program, there must be a medical need for a telephone in the household, and you must be at or below the federal poverty guidelines.

    Apart from CenturyLink internet plans, the company also provides Internet-ready netbook computers for only $150, plus shipping, taxes, and handling. The new equipment offers access to CenturyLink Ease™, comprehensive backup, security, and support services.

    Bottom Line

    CenturyLink is a communication company that provides high-speed Internet, voice, fiber, phone, and TV services for small business customers and residents. The 

    company is recognized to provide the best internet services to low-income individuals at affordable prices. The company provides multiple plans and participates in the ACP program to offer services at affordable prices.