Cox offers 2 low-income internet plans that offer 100 Mbps download speeds and 3.0 Mbps upload speeds. Connect2Compete costs $9.95 monthly, but is only available to homes with K-12 students. Anyone else who qualifies can get Connect Assist. These plans offer varying features.
As a network enthusiast, I want to help everyone access the internet without draining their bank accounts. I grouped all the information out there regarding Cox’s low-income internet plans.
Once you finish this guide, you’ll know the following:
- An overview of their low-income plan
- Where it’s available
- How to apply
- What you can do with each plan’s network speeds
- Affordable Connectivity Program credit overview
- Ways to contact their customer service
- How it compares to similar Cox plans
- Versus competing low-income internet plans
Let’s get this show on the road.
What Is Cox Low Income Internet?
Cox’s low-income internet plans, Connect Assist and Connect2Compete, give low-income households 100 Mbps download speeds and 3.0 Mbps upload speeds.
These plans work best for households using up to 5 devices simultaneously. That’s according to Cox. I’ll talk about what you can really do with these internet speeds later.
I’ll cover specific qualifications for each plan in a moment. Let’s cover the features and data cap first.
Cox Low Income Internet Features
Features that come with Cox Connect Assist include:
- Free Wi-Fi router/modem rental
- No data cap for 12 months
- EasyConnect self-installation kit (technically not a feature)
- Access to over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots
- Contract- and price-hike-free
- Free security suite
The Connect2Compete internet plan includes these features:
- Free network gateway rental
- Cox Digital Academy: a bunch of online videos that teach kids about online security and safety
- No credit check required
- EasyConnect installation kit
- You can access millions of Cox Wi-Fi hotspots
- Free McAfee-powered security suite
- No price increase or contract
- Access to low-cost computers
Let’s review some of these features.
Cox gateways owned by businesses and homes host Wi-Fi hotspots. You can access these and other hotspots that are a part of Cox’s coalition. These hotspots include Xfinity and Spectrum.
When using these hotspots, you don’t use any data. Thus, you won’t contribute to your data cap.
The EasyConnect installation kit isn’t anything special. It’s just your modem, a couple of cables, and instructions on self-installing your device. Every internet service provider offers these for free (I think).
The security suite offers free antivirus, data wiping, and hyperlink security software. If you have basic knowledge about computer security, you won’t need to install this suite. As it will take up a lot of space on your devices.
You can only get Connect2Compete if you have a K-12 student in your household. Cox partnered with PCs for People to increase accessibility to computers, which they’ll likely need for school.
On Connect2Compete, you can refurbish laptops as low as $95 . They have impressive specs, too. The laptop I checked out had 4 GB of ram, a 250 GB SSD, and an Intel I5 processor.
Those specs could make it so your kid could have a stable connection during Zoom classes.
The laptops I checked out also have a 1-year warranty. Then they only charge $20 for Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 . If you brought the 2021 version of this software, you’d need to pay $149.00.
This software should accommodate every assignment your kid has, though.
Before covering the ridiculous data cap, I want to clarify the definition of ‘refurbished.’ It means companies will test, clean, and replace faulty parts in products.
So it’s not like you’re getting a broken and virus-filled laptop having keyboard keys coated with the previous owner’s dandruff.
Cox Low Income Internet Data Cap
Cox’s low-income internet plans have a 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. Upon passing this cap, Cox will charge you $10 per 50 gigabytes (GB) they automatically add to your account.
The maximum they’ll charge low-income plan holders is $30. Upon reaching that threshold, you can use unlimited data without incurring charges.
You can only remove the data cap by paying $50 monthly for their unlimited data add-on. But you don’t need that add-on with the low-income plans. Refer to the previous paragraph to understand my point.
Cox Low Income Internet Eligibility Requirements
You can qualify for Cox Connect Assist by participating in at least 1 of these government programs :
- Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Head Start
- Public Housing
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF)
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP); otherwise known as Food Stamps
You’ll need documentation proving that you’re in 1 of these government programs. These documents will need to show your name, address, and proof of program participation.
Qualifying for Connect2Compete will require having a K-12 child living in your household. You can verify this with documents like:
- State or state-authorized proof of homeschooling
- Your child’s enrollment letter: must have the school’s letterhead
- Your kid’s report card
- A letter stating that your kid is receiving Free and Reduced Lunch through NSLP
In addition to having a K–12 student, you’ll also need to prove you’re on 1 of the government benefits programs I mentioned.
How Much Does Cox Low Income Internet Cost?
Cox’s Connect2Compete plan costs $9.95 monthly. Connect Assist costs $30 monthly. These prices will not increase after 12 months.
Since these plans don’t require contracts.
Neither plan charges for device rentals or activation fees.
They still incur data overage charges if you surpass their data cap.
Where Is Cox Low Income Internet Available?
Cox Connect2Compete and Connect Assist are available in the following states:
States that provide Cox low-income internet services.
Cox also offers their low-income internet in 624 areas (cities, I guess). It would take forever to read through all the cities if I listed them in this review.
You’ll want to visit Cox.com/local/residential, select your state, and scan the page for your city.
How to Apply for Cox Low Income Internet
You will first need to check whether you’re eligible by visiting pages correlating to each plan:
You’ll need to verify your identity upon verifying your participation in these programs. You’ll need to enter your social security number or date of birth.
Now you’ll create your Cox account and choose whether you want paperless billing.
Save the Cox PIN that appears on your application.
Wait up to 4 days to see whether Cox approves your application.
Cox makes it so you can check your application’s progress. Visit Cox.com/residential-shop/check-order-status.html and log into your Cox account.
Here’s a video that walks you through applying to Connect2Compete:
What Can You Do With 100 Mbps Internet Speeds?
Here’s a scenario of what a household could do with 100 Mbps download and 3.0 Mbps upload speeds:
|Task||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
|1 Device Browsing Reddit||2.0 Mbps||1.0 Mbps|
|1 Smartphone Listening to Spotify||2.0 Mbps||0.5 Mbps|
|Zoom 1:1 720p Video Conference||1.2 Mbps||1.2 Mbps|
|3 Devices Watching Netflix in 4K UHD||75 Mbps||NA|
|1 PC Casual Gaming||3.0 Mbps||0.5 Mbps|
|3 Devices Watching Disney+ in 1080p||15 Mbps||NA|
Tasks you can do with 100 Mbps download and 3.0 Mbps upload speeds.
The above scenario requires 98.2 Mbps download speeds and 3.2 Mbps upload speeds.
The “browsing Reddit” requirement is an overestimate. You’re likely not actually using that much upload speed.
But it’s still a factor to consider.
That’s a total of 10 devices you can use simultaneously. So long as you’re getting the max speeds advertised. And that it’s not peak hours.
People have complained about lower Cox internet speeds during peak hours. You may see slower internet during hours when a lot of people are online (like after work).
I recommend testing your internet speeds and using our troubleshooting methods to get faster internet.
Affordable Connectivity Program: Overview & Requirements
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an internet bill credit the federal government offers to low-income households. Those living in qualifying Tribal Lands get $75 off their internet plans. Other qualifying individuals get $30 off of their internet plans.
The ACP has even more lenient requirements to use their program For starters, if your income sits 200% under the federal poverty guideline, you can qualify. Here’s a chart that outlines the income you’d need to qualify.
Otherwise, participating in these programs will qualify you for this internet bill credit:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Federal Public Housing
- Pell Grant recipient for current year
- Head Start
- Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
- Tribal Head Start
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
When applying for this credit, you’ll need to provide your date of birth and ID (passport, driver’s license, or state ID card). And you’ll need to prove you’re in these programs.
You can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program by entering this into your browser’s address bar: nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true.
Or apply through Cox by logging into your Cox account.
Cox Low Income Internet Phone Number
Cox doesn’t have a designated number for their low-income internet. But you can reach their customer service by calling 800-234-3993.
Or by using their online chatbot. It’ll connect you to a customer service person if you type “talk to an agent.”
The phone number for PCs for People is 651-354-2552. They’re the company that partners with Cox to provide low-cost refurbished devices for those on the Connect2Compete plan.
Low Income Internet vs. Other Cox Internet Plans
Cox’s other home internet plans include:
|Tier||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Price (Year 2)||Price (w/ ACP)|
|Essential 100||100 Mbps||5.0 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||$19.99/mo.|
|Preferred 250||250 Mbps||10 Mbps||$83.99/mo.||$53.99/mo.|
|Ultimate 500||500 Mbps||10 Mbps||$99.99/mo.||$69.99/mo.|
|Gigablast||1.0 Gbps||35 Mbps||$119.99/mo.||$89.99/mo.|
|StraightUp Prepaid||100 Mbps||5.0 Mbps||$50/mo.||$20/mo.|
Cox cable internet plans.
Cox’s Essential Internet and Prepaid give you more affordable internet after applying for the ACP credit.
Only get these plans if you need the extra 2.0 Mbps upload speeds. Otherwise, I don’t recommend straying from the low-income plans.
You’ll need the 2 non-low-income plans if you use Ring video doorbells. Because that requires 2.0 Mbps upstream bandwidth.
Consider your household’s online activities and compare them to the speeds their other plans offer.
For households with individuals who frequently upload massive video files, they’ll want to look for a symmetric (equal download/upload speeds) internet provider.
Verizon Fios has symmetric speeds on almost all their plans.
And they offer a Lifeline discount. It works like the ACP. I’ll cover this provider in a bit.
Cloud gaming and streaming 4K videos will require the most download speeds (25–40 Mbps). So you’ll only need 300+ Mbps download speeds if you have multiple people doing those activities.
At that point, you may want to consider another internet provider. Because you’ll have to worry about Cox’s 1.25 terabyte (TB) data cap. It’ll prevent your home from watching over 200 hours of 4K video without incurring a data overage fee.
And to remove the data cap, you’ll need to pay $50 monthly. And without the low-income internet plans, you’ll have to pay up to $100 in overage fees. As opposed to paying a max. of $30.
Cox Low Income Internet vs. The Competition
Here’s how Cox’s low-income internet plans compare to other similar plans:
|Provider & Tier||Price||Max Speeds|
|Cox Connect||$9.95 or $30/mo.||100/3.0 Mbps|
|Xfinity Internet Essentials||$9.95/mo. or $24.95/mo.||50/10 & 100/15 Mbps|
|Spectrum Internet Assist||$17.99/mo.||30 Mbps/4.0 Mbps|
|Verizon Fios Lifeline Discount||$0.00–$49.99/mo.||300–940 Mbps (downstream)300–800 Mbps (upstream)|
Low-income internet plans compared.
Cox doesn’t have the highest upload speeds compared to the competition. Spectrum’s 4.0 Mbps upload speeds allow you to have 1 more device browse the internet. Yipee.
Despite Spectrum’s low download speeds, there’s no data cap. And you’ll get a free modem. That’s the only defense I have for their plan.
You could have a device watch 4K video with their 30 Mbps download speeds.
Verizon Fios offers the best value if you can qualify for the Lifeline discount on their 300/300 Mbps internet plan. Most households won’t need these speeds.
But there’s no data cap.
But if you never want to worry about congested internet bandwidth, visit checklifeline.org/lifeline and see if you qualify. Who wouldn’t want free fiber optic internet?
You’ll need to reside in an area Verizon Fios offers service.
I’m not the biggest fan of Xfinity Comcast. But they offer okay speeds.
Cox does beat them in 1 area, the data allowance. Xfinity has a 1.2 terabyte (TB) data cap. Meanwhile, Cox offers an extra 50 GB with their 1.25 cap.
The pricing on all these plans doesn’t matter if you qualify for ACP credit or Lifeline discount. Because that’ll make most of these plans free.
You’ll only need to compare each provider’s availability and features. And whether they have a data cap.
Let’s check out overlapping supported areas.
Xfinity and Cox have support in all the same areas, except:
- Oklahoma (Cox only)
- Nevada (neither)
- Kansas (Cox only)
- Nebraska (Cox only)
Verizon Fios and Cox only have overlapping support in these states:
- Rhode Island
Cox and Spectrum offer services in all the same states except Iowa and Oklahoma. Cox cable internet services in these states, but not Spectrum.
FAQs: Cox Low Income Internet
Here are frequently asked questions about Cox’s low income internet plans.
How Can I Get Rid of Cox’s Data Cap?
You can only get rid of Cox’s data cap by paying $50 a month for their unlimited data add-on.
When paired with the Affordable Connectivity Program credit, Cox’s low-income internet plans can give users free 100 Mbps internet. But the upload speeds aren’t ideal.
If you’re looking for an internet plan with faster upload speeds, I recommend checking out other providers. Otherwise, you could consider upgrading to a higher-tier Cox plan and checking whether they have discounts.