Seniors have become one of the fastest-growing groups of internet users today.1 Within the past decade, internet use among people over the age of 65 has increased by 53 percent. With the growth of the internet, there has been an increase in the number of internet providers on the market, making it difficult to know which provider offers the best service and value to meet the growing internet needs of seniors. AT&T is a well-recognized brand that has provided connection services for over 144 years. Being in the communication industry for as long as they have, they've created a variety of internet plans, many of which are suitable for seniors.
AT&T's internet plans are different from most other providers in that they offer one standard price on their plans with varying internet speeds ranging up to 940 Mbps depending on your location. Compared to other internet providers, AT&T is on the more expensive side with their plans starting at introductory rates of $49.99 per month. However, with AT&T, you get one of the largest networks and reliable connections in the industry, along with great sign up perks and bundle options. With these key points in mind, we'll discuss the AT&T internet plans that we consider to be the best combination of service and value for the internet needs of seniors.
AT&T is a familiar company in American households as its roots go back to Alexander Graham Bell's telephone developed in 1876. Since then, they have followed the evolution of communication technology development and have grown into a company that provides high-speed internet and communication networks in 21 states — with the most extensive coverage in California, Texas, and Florida. They pride themselves on being the largest communications company in the world based on revenue by providing service to over 100 million customers in the United States, and they also offer services in Latin America. AT&T offers its internet services and connectivity to almost all of the Fortune 1000 companies.2 Below are some pros and cons for seniors that we found in their internet plans:
All of AT&T's Internet plans start at $49.99 per month for the first 12 months plus taxes, fees, and an equipment fee of $10 per month. The difference in each plan is how fast the internet connection is. Your geographic location will determine the availability of internet speed.
|Internet 1000||Up to 940 Mbps||Fiber||Latest and fastest technology, multiple devices can connect, unlimited data use, no contract, not available in many areas|
|AT&T Internet Plans||10 Mbps-100 Mbps depending on geographic location||DSL and Fixed Wireless||Similar speeds to cable, 1 TB data cap, no contract, some speeds are only available in certain locations|
|Internet Basic Plan||0.8 Mbps-5Mbps||DSL||Limited availability, must be located near AT&T central office or in a neighborhood with pre-existing DSL gateway, must have DSL capable telephone line|
The best value in terms of speed and price is AT&T's Internet 1000 plan, as it offers the fastest internet speeds for the same rate ($49.99 per month) as the rest of their plans. The biggest drawback is that this plan has the most limited availability of all AT&T's plans at the moment.3 While most seniors won't need this much speed, with AT&T we highly recommend this plan as it doesn't cost extra; you might as well get the fastest and most reliable connection to get the most bang for your buck!
The Internet 1000 plan is a good option for seniors who use the internet multiple times a day for a variety of tasks such as emails, downloading videos and movies, streaming music and television, and make frequent use of video calls. It's also great for seniors who host friends and family often, as several users can be online at once without any issue. With this service, you also get an unlimited data allowance, which is a $30 value on other AT&T plans.
Special Offer: Right now, AT&T is offering a $100 AT&T Visa Reward Card if you order an internet plan online.
If you reside in a location where this fiber plan is available, you can receive the industry’s leading internet technology at a moderate price. Other companies such as Spectrum have the same speeds of up to 940 Mbps at the same price, but in cable form, which is slower and less reliable than fiber. Compared to other fiber internet providers, such as Verizon which starts at $79.99 per month for up to 940Mbps, and Xfinity which starts at $89.99 per month for up to 1000 Mbps, AT&T's Internet 1000 plan proves to be one of the more affordable options for this connection speed.
If you live in a location where fiber is not available, but you still want to take advantage of the reliability of speed and connectivity that AT&T offers, their standard internet plans may be another good option. These plans operate on a DSL and/or fixed wireless (in select areas) connection, offering speeds from 10 Mbps up to 100 Mps. This is perfect for seniors who want to connect with their family on social networks, download music, or stream movies and television. Again, the speed available will vary depending on your geographic location. In terms of value, compared to similar connections, companies such as Xfinity and Suddenlink offer similar speeds of up to 100 Mbps for only $34.99 per month. This shows that although competitive, these AT&T plans are on the higher end for this specific range of speeds. They're still a solid option if AT&T is the main provider in your area.
AT&T does not currently provide senior-specific discounts or plans for internet service. However, they do have a couple of programs that can provide savings for eligible seniors.
AT&T Access is an internet plan that provides low-cost internet services to households with low income. This includes all of the provider’s perks, such as free installation and in-home WiFi, no contracts, and no deposit. The price of this plan is $10 per month for up to 25 Mbps on AT&T's high-speed internet connection. Eligibility requirements include participating in one of the following programs:
Lifeline is a federal program that provides a discount of up to $9.25 towards the monthly internet bill. Eligibility requirements for lifeline include:
AT&T provides several perks for their customers, including antivirus software, AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee, and WiFi Hotspot access in 30,000+ locations nationwide, so you remain connected when you travel.
Depending on your plan, you may also have access to the AT&T THANKS appreciation program, which provides special offers on tickets to movies, dining, and events. This includes TickeTwosdays that provide buy-one-get-one-free movie tickets at select theatres. Another great way to get the most out of your AT&T plan is to bundle with TV. We'll get into the details below.
Using the internet can be beneficial to the well-being of older adults.4 75 percent of seniors are using the internet as an opportunity to connect to family and friends via social media, email, and video chats.5 This increases social engagement and lowers feelings of loneliness for seniors who can be vulnerable to isolation as they get older.6 Additionally, seniors use the internet to access important information like medical and health-related data. Many healthcare organizations are using electronic health (eHealth) websites to connect patients with medical professionals and manage patient care online. This makes having access to quality, secure, and fast internet connection important for the lives of seniors. The internet has to work when you need it, and AT&T's internet service provides some of the highest reliability, with 80 percent of their customers receiving consistent connectivity speeds 95 percent of the time.7
With 40-50 percent of seniors using the internet for either education, news, or entertainment, AT&T offers speeds up to 940 Mbps that can handle even your largest online tasks. Lastly, the high monthly cost is often a barrier for many seniors, and AT&T still has room to improve on making their plans more cost-friendly. However, they do offer discounts for low-income consumers that may be suitable for seniors on a tight budget. We've highlighted a few AT&T plans and options that seniors can use to get the most out of an AT&T internet plan.
Despite older adults feeling challenged in respect to learning how to use the internet,8 many seniors are increasingly willing to learn. If you or someone you may only use the internet for basic activities, such as emailing and light web surfing, you may benefit from comparing plans with lower speeds; there's no need to pay for more speed or features than you need. Below is a convenient comparison of basic internet plans from AT&T and other leading providers:
|AT&T Basic||$49.99 per month for the first 12 months||Up to .8Mps-5Mbps||No contract required|
|Xfinity Performance Starter+||$24.99 per month for the first 12 months||Up to 25 Mbps||1-year agreement|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||$24.99 per month for first 12 months||Up to 10 Mbps||1-year service agreement|
|Suddenlink||$35.00 per month for the first 12 months||Up to 50 Mbps||No contract required|
Many seniors use the television for news, information, and entertainment in addition to the internet. Bundling up services still provides the best way to get a deal on both the internet and television. If you bundle your TV and internet service with AT&T, you gain unlimited data allowance and WiFi capabilities. Below are several internet and TV packages that AT&T offers.
AT&T offers its own TV service, which provides over 65 channels and can be bundled with the Internet 1000 plan for $89.98 per month. You'll have access to on-demand shows and movies, and you can record your favorite shows to watch later with 500 hours of DVR cloud storage. Whether you're having a movie night with friends or watching a show with the kiddos, adding DIRECTV Stream to your internet plan really ups the entertainment options available to you.
Special Online Offer: Right now, if you order a select internet + TV bundle, you can get up to $300 in AT&T Visa® Reward Cards.
In addition to television, you also get access to over 5,000 apps, including Netflix and Pandora music. AT&T's 1000 Mbps fiber internet connection is coupled with this TV package, which saves you an average of $20 per month when compared to ordering the two services separately. This bundle also comes with three months of free access to premier movie channels like SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX. One thing to keep in mind with this bundle is that it requires a two-year agreement for DIRECTV Stream. If you're okay with committing long term, the perks that come with this package are worth it in our book.
Important Note: The DIRECTV Stream and Internet Bundle only operates on a fiber connection and is only available in certain areas. Make sure to give AT&T a call or go to their website to find out if it's an option where you live.
If you are in an area where fiber is not available yet, you can still save on an DIRECTV Stream and Internet bundle. Since DIRECTV Stream works through an internet connection, it is recommended for areas with available speeds of 24 Mbps or higher so that your connection will be reliable. In this bundle, DIRECTV Stream offers 65+ channels, and 40,000 On-demand shows with a $10 discount on internet service.
|Select Package + Internet||$89.98 per month for the first 12 months, plus taxes, fees, and $10 equipment charge.||155 channels, 60 HD channels
3 months promotional HBO Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX
|Choice Package + Internet||$99.98 per month for the first 12 months, plus taxes, fees, and $10 equipment charge.||185+ channels, 85+ in HD
Includes regional sports networks
1 year promotional HBO Max,
3 month promotional Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX
NFL Sunday Ticket
AT&T is one of the leading communication providers in the world and offers the latest technology to its customers. AT&T's internet plans start at a flat rate of $49.99 per month, but only some speeds and technologies are available to certain areas.
With their high-speed fiber connection, AT&T provides a great value to seniors who are heavy internet users or have multiple individuals and devices that connect to the internet on a daily basis. Once you get into lower speeds below 100 Mbps, the value of AT&T’s plans begin to decrease as plans from other providers offer the same speeds at lower prices. However, the value of AT&T's fiber plans and the lack of long-term contracts shouldn't be overlooked. Seniors who love to watch TV and movies will find the best value by bundling their services with one of AT&T’s TV and Internet packages. Although AT&T internet is only offered in 21 states, they are continuing to invest and build their infrastructure to bring their service to more people.
You can find what speeds AT&T offers in your area by going to their website and entering your address.
Yes, you can order a free self-installation kit when you order your AT&T internet service.
AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan provides unlimited internet. All other AT&T internet plans have a 1 TB data cap, and an option to purchase unlimited data for $30 per month.
All of AT&T’s internet plans start at a promotional rate of $49.99 per month plus taxes, fees, and an equipment fee of $10 per month. After 12 months, the standard rate is $59.99 per month plus taxes, fees, and equipment fee of $10 per month.
AT&T has several options to pay your bill. You can pay online and even set up automatic payments through their website. You can also pay your bill by phone, mail, or in person.
Pew Research. (2017). Technology use among seniors.
AT&T. (2020). Investor Profile.
AT&T. (2020). Coverage Map.
The Gerontologist. (2018). Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship Between Purposes of Internet Use and Well-being Among Older Adults.
MedAlertHelp. (2018). The Elderly and the World Wide Web (Infographic).
The Gerontologist. (2018). Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship Between Purposes of Internet Use and Well-being Among Older Adults.
FCC. (2018). Measuring Fixed Broadband – Eighth Report.
Pew Research. (2017). Barriers to adoption and attitudes towards technology.