Around 42 million Americans are at risk of sinking into the abyss. Their financial woes restrict them from affording a reliable broadband plan at home, limiting their opportunities for quality education, healthcare, and employment. They are tired of being called the “invisible” faction of society and are waiting for the right tools and resources to come out from the shadows and build their American dream.
That dream is now just one step away from reality. The Spectrum Internet 100 is a free and low-cost broadband plan, available exclusively to poverty-stricken households in the USA. In this review, we will give you a rundown on Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet service so that you, too, can enjoy a broadband subscription for as low as $0 per month.
Spectrum Internet 100 is a broadband plan available exclusively to low-income households. Financially distressed families and individuals who meet the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) eligibility criteria and qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits get the Spectrum Internet 100 plan for free for the first 24 months of service.
|Overview of Spectrum Internet 100 Plan|
|Type of Internet||Coaxial Cable Internet|
|Promo Price||$29.99/mo. (with AutoPay & paperless billing)|
|Price After 12 Months||$59.99/mo. (with AutoPay & paperless billing)|
|Download Speed||100 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||10 Mbps|
|Coverage Area||41 states of the USA|
|Data Cap||Unlimited data|
|No. of Connected Devices||Up to 5|
|Customer Rating||4.18 out of 5 stars|
|Best For||ACP-qualified low-income households|
The Spectrum Internet 100 plan is offered to ACP-approved customers for a promo rate of $29.99 per month. The promotional rate is valid for 2 years from the date of enrollment. In the third year, however, the price is increased to a regular rate of $59.99 per month. After the ACP credit adjustments, where customers get a $30 subsidy from the FCC, the starting price of Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet plan becomes $0 per month. With this 100 Mbps internet plan, impoverished families get a chance to enjoy free internet, just as good as paid plans.
The Spectrum 100 plan includes unlimited data, a compatible modem, free antivirus software activation on 3 devices, and contract-free service. Customers can also rest assured that the monthly internet fee will not change without prior notice.
The download speed of Spectrum Internet 100 reaches a maximum of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), while the upload speed is limited to 10 Mbps. In 2015, the FCC set the threshold for broadband speeds to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. Following these guidelines, we can state that the optimal download and upload speeds offered by the Spectrum Internet 100 plan are 4 times faster than the defining speeds of a broadband connection.
Below is a list of all the online activities you can partake in after subscribing to the Spectrum 100 Mbps internet service.
|Online Activity||Minimum Download Speed Needed|
|Web browsing and email||1 Mbps|
|Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls||0.5 Mbps|
|File downloads||10 Mbps|
|Streaming videos in standard definition||4 Mbps|
|Streaming video in high-definition||8 Mbps|
|Streaming videos in ultra-high definition||25 Mbps|
|Video conferencing in high-definition||2 Mbps|
|Connecting gaming consoles to the Internet||3 Mbps|
|Multiplayer online gaming||4 Mbps|
There are two installation options for successfully activating the Spectrum Internet 100 plan. You can either opt for an expert installation and let a certified professional handle all the technical aspects, or put your problem-solving skills to good use by ordering the self-installation kit. Naturally, calling a technician for help will cost you a lot more, $59.99 to be exact, but like all DIY projects, the self-installation kit can be ordered for half the price, bringing down your one-time setup costs to just $24.99.
You must specify your preferences for the installation method while enrolling in the Spectrum Internet 100 plan. In the case of a professional installation, the Spectrum representative will ask you for a convenient time to ensure you are available to receive the technician at home. However, if you decide to go the self-installation route, you will receive the kit in the mail within 3-5 business days. The starter kit will contain one of the Spectrum-authorized modems, an Ethernet cable, a coaxial cable, and an instruction manual to get you started.
You can also use the Spectrum self-installation guide to set up and activate the Spectrum 100 Mbps internet plan.
Spectrum 100 Mbps Internet is specially curated to offer essential broadband access to homes whose combined annual income is 200 percent below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The sole purpose of launching the Spectrum Internet 100 plan was to eradicate the digital divide prevalent in the country by making the Internet affordable for all.
Let’s analyze Spectrum 100 Mbps Internet’s price structure and add-on costs to determine how much you will pay at the end of the billing cycle.
The promotional price of the Spectrum Internet 100 plan is kept extremely low at just $29.99 per month. The discounted rates are valid for 2 years, allowing customers to save up to $360 per year. Here is where it gets interesting. Since the federal government will credit $30 per month in Spectrum ACP qualifiers’ bank accounts, they can use this sum to pay off their Spectrum 100 Mbps Internet fee and enjoy the service for free.
However, after the expiry of the 24-month promotional period, the price of this 100 Mbps internet plan is increased to a standard rate of $59.99 per month. Subscribers will continue to receive a $30 discount every month, as long as they are still qualified to receive the ACP benefits.
The price of the Spectrum Internet 100 plan becomes $0 (for the first 2 years) once the ACP credits are applied to the monthly bills. However, in the third year, subscribers pay a net $29.99 per month for internet service. This is because in the third year, the price of the Spectrum Internet 100 plan spikes to a regular rate of $59.99 per month. So, after the $30 ACP-related deductions, customers must fork out the $29.99 for balance payments.
You can refer to the following table for a summary of Spectrum Internet’s 100 Mbps price after 24 months and with and without ACP discounts.
|Spectrum Internet 100 Price After ACP Discount|
|Promo Price After ACP Discount||$0.00/mo.|
|Standard Price (after 24 months)||$59.99/mo.|
|Standard Price After ACP Discount||$29.99/mo.|
Extra fees and penalties can be hard to digest if the selling point of an internet plan is its zero-dollar charge and the target audience is underprivileged Americans. Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet is marketed as a ‘free broadband service’, and therefore, any additional charges will invalidate that catchphrase. As a true industry leader, Spectrum sticks by this rule and keeps the additional costs of the plan to a bare minimum.
|Extra Services||Add-On Costs|
|Professional Installation Fee||$59.99 (one-time charge)|
|Self-Installation Kit||$24.99 (one-time charge)|
|One-off Payment Fee||$2.50/mo.|
|Bill Printing Fee||$2.50/mo.|
|Spectrum WiFi Router||$5.00/mo.|
|Spectrum WiFi Extender||$3.00/mo. per device|
|Unreturned Equipment Fee||Up to $150.00 (one-time charge)|
|Late Payment Fee||$8.95/mo.|
|Taxes and Surcharges||Up to $5.00/mo.|
Apart from the mandatory government-imposed taxes and surcharges, all the other add-on fees are avoidable. Learn these few tricks and tips to bring down the price of your 100 Mbps Spectrum Internet plan to $0.00 per month.
With some prudence and self-discipline, you can make the Spectruminternet 100 plan exceptionally affordable.
Subscription to the Spectrum Internet 100 plan includes the lease of a compatible modem-router gateway that is delivered to your doorstep for a nominal one-time fee of $24.99. A cable modem enabled with DOCSIS 3.0 technology is best suited for supporting and optimizing internet speeds of less than 200 Mbps. The following brands and models of internet modems are Spectrum-approved.
Arris Surfboard SB6190 is a trusted cable modem for home internet. Its 32 downstream and 8 upstream channel bonding is designed for better connectivity and increasing network capabilities. In the absence of a compatible mesh WiFi router, subscribers can connect their primary device to the 1 gigabit Ethernet port and enjoy high-performance online gaming or high-definition streaming.
TP-Link TC7650 internet modem has passed the ‘limited no-harms’ certification testing and is one of the ‘minimally qualified modems’ for the Spectrum Internet 100 plan. It can efficiently convert analog signals delivered through Spectrum’s robust coaxial cable network into digital data for seamless high-speed internet usage. TC7650’s 24 downstream and 8 upstream channel bonding can handle fast data transmission even during network congestion to allow uninterrupted streaming, gaming, and file sharing on up to 5 devices.
The Netgear CM700 cable modem’s DOCSIS 3.0 technology is CableLabs® certified for Spectrum Internet® for download speeds of up to 400 Mbps. Its 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels offer efficient and reliable cable internet connectivity during peak and off-peak hours. Netgear CM700’s quick and easy plug-and-play setup makes it ideal for self-installing Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet service.
The Spectrum Internet 100 plan is available all across its 41-state coverage area. However, the 3 best markets for accessing Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet speeds are Texas, New York, and California.
Refer to the table below to check whether or not Spectrum Internet 100 Mbps plan is available in your state.
|All the States where the Spectrum Internet 100 Plan is Available|
|Idaho||Minnesota||North Carolina||West Virginia|
The availability of Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet service is more than 90 percent in the following 5 cities.
|Top 5 Cities Where Spectrum Internet 100 is Accessible|
|Charlotte||North Carolina||95.1%||842,266 people|
|Los Angeles||California||93.4%||3,520,699 people|
If you happen to live in an area where Spectrum Internet® is unavailable, but you still qualify for the $30 Spectrum ACP subsidy, then these alternatives to the Spectrum Internet 100 plan will be your next line of defense against unaffordable home internet. All the ACP internet providers mentioned in the table have forged partnerships with the FCC and are offering free and discounted 100 Mbps internet service under the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Please note that in most cases, the 100 Mbps internet service for low-income households is delivered via the DSL and cable systems because of which, the internet speeds are asymmetric, and the upload speed tops out at 10 Mbps.
|Best 100 Mbps Internet Providers in the USA|
|Provider||Price||Price After ACP||Speed||Overall Rating|
|Spectrum||$29.99/mo.||$0.00/mo.||100 Mbps||4.18/ 5 stars|
|AT&T||$55.00/mo.||$0.00/mo.||100 Mbps||4.49/ 5 stars|
|EarthLink||$59.95/mo.||$29.95/mo.||100 Mbps||4.37/ 5 stars|
|Frontier||$29.99/mo.||$0.00/mo.||100 Mbps||3.30/ 5 stars|
|Metronet||$39.95/mo.||$9.95/mo.||100 Mbps||3.73/ 5 stars|
|Xfinity||$29.95/mo.||$0.00/mo.||100 Mbps||3.45/ 5 stars|
|Optimum||$29.00/mo.||$0.00/mo.||100 Mbps||3.25/ 5 stars|
|Kinetic||$39.99/mo.||$9.99/mo.||100 Mbps||3.39/ 5 stars|
Necessity is the mother of invention. The Spectrum Internet 100 plan was introduced to meet a need for free and low-cost high-speed internet service for the most financially constrained families in the USA. Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet service is offered exclusively to registered participants of the government-sponsored Affordable Connectivity Program. The plan costs absolutely nothing for the first 2 years and includes unlimited data, a free DOCSIS 3.0 modem, free access to antivirus software, and no contract service.
Its fast upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps and download speeds of up to 100 Mbps are perfect for non-stop streaming, lag-free gaming, and hassle-free file sharing. After looking at Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet price before and after the 2-year promo period, we can conclude that Spectrum is making digital equity an achievable reality.
Spectrum Internet 100 plan offers download speeds of up to 100 Mbps and an upload speed of 10 Mbps. These speeds are fast enough to support simultaneous connectivity on 5 separate devices. The Spectrum Advanced WiFi optimizes internet speeds for seamless multi-device connectivity. Spectrum’s cutting-edge whole-home WiFi router is available on lease for only $5 per month.
The Spectrum 100 Mbps internet service is good for casual online gaming. Its asymmetrical 10 Mbps upload and 100 Mbps download speeds, and an average latency of 33.40 milliseconds (ms) support most real-time strategy (RTS), first-person shooter (FPS), massively multiplayer online (MMO), and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games.
Netflix recommends a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps for streaming video content in ultra-high definition (4K) on one screen. It means that with the Spectrum Internet 100 plan, Netflix movies and shows can be streamed in 4K resolution at once on 6 separate screens.
Spectrum Internet 100 plan’s 99.9 percent reliable speeds are adequate for remote work and learning. The most common applications used by remote workers for virtual meetings are Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and Slack. Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet speed is at least 33 times faster than the minimum speed requirements of these applications.
Eligible low-income households qualified to receive the government-provided Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits can get the Spectrum Internet 100 plan free for the first 24 months. The promo price of the Spectrum Internet 100 plan is $29.99 per month (for 24 months). ACP qualifiers get a subsidy of $30 per month to pay toward their Spectrum 100 Mbps internet bills. After the $30 deduction, the price of the Spectrum Internet 100 plan becomes $0.00 per month.
Spectrum’s 100 Mbps internet service includes unlimited data throughout the month. Instead of keeping a tab on your monthly data consumption, Spectrum allows subscribers to download unlimited files and enjoy endless entertainment through uninterrupted streaming and gaming. Spectrum Internet 100 plan’s zero-data cap policy means that customers can say goodbye to data overage charges and abrupt service halts, common for other internet users in the country.
The maximum upload speed for the Spectrum Internet 100 plan is 10 Mbps. However, the wireless speed will vary depending on the make and model of the WiFi equipment.