Access from AT&T Review: Affordable Home Internet For Low-Income Households

accessatt0Access from AT&T is an affordable internet access plan for low-income households offered in certain areas with AT&T service. The cost is either $5 a month at 3 Mbps or $10 a month for 5-10 Mbps, depending on your area. According to their FAQ and press release, other features include:

  • No deposit required
  • No activation or installation fee
  • No contract
  • Free modem + WiFi router rental
  • Free access to the entire national AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot network.

However, note that AT&T will run a credit check. I don’t quite understand the reasoning though, as they state it won’t affect your eligibility. From their website:

As part of standard AT&T policy, all orders for new service are subject to a credit check. Results of the credit check will not impact your ability to obtain Internet service under the Access program from AT&T.

Qualifying households must have:

  • At least one resident who participates in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and
  • An address in AT&T’s 21-state service area, at which we offer wireline home Internet service, and
  • No outstanding debt for AT&T fixed Internet service within the last six months or outstanding debt incurred under this program.

California residents also are eligible if:

  • At least one member of your household receives SSI benefits; and
  • At least one of the Access from AT&T Internet speed tiers is available at the address where you live.

You can apply for the Access by AT&T program here. You can also learn more by calling AT&T at 1-855-220-5211 for assistance in English or 1-855-220-5225 for assistance in Spanish.

I am not applauding AT&T for this effort, just promoting its availability. AT&T agreed to offer this service as a condition of their merger with DirecTV. I think people should take advantage of it if it works economically for them. However, I see no evidence that AT&T did this for charitable reasons. They are only doing the bare minimum required by law. I think they are rightly being criticized for not offering this affordable plan in areas where they have speeds lower than 3 Mbps.

Also see:


  1. Yeah they get you hooked in and it works great for awhile and then they slow it down so slow that you upgrade. I’ve tried to keep it 3 different times and they eventually slow it down to unfunctional levels. Ugh!

  2. I have this service and I hate it,they refuse to change my billing date and as I am on a fixed income it always gets paid a few days late.When that happens they charge a nine Dollar late fee and a 49dollar”reconnect “fee even though it hasn’t been disconnected,it is ending up costing me the same as cable….Not cool!

  3. I took the 2 yr bundle with DTV but there not honoring there price in June it will be 55.00 + 51.99 On 718 a mth there is no way I can continue with these services.So I Qualify for this program it will kill me to lose TV but it also kills me to have over 41.00 in interest +an unsafe car to get groceries.

  4. Piper Sosa says:

    I had the service disconnected. The speed was less then 1 …what was i suppose to do with it? The 2 months it was on cost me 40 bucks . Thats right…. they had these extra fees and blah blah blah.
    Worst part… took 3 days in a row if the tech returning and drilling holes in the walls and having total disreguard for the property. The entire Access program is BS.

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