The gap between seniors and technology has begun to decrease in recent years as seniors are reporting higher usage of technology—such as the internet—than ever before.1 With many seniors going online, it is essential to make sure that their internet provider offers a quality connection at a reasonable price with service that has their best interests in mind. That’s where Spectrum comes into play for seniors.
Spectrum is a residential internet provider that offers three internet plans throughout 41 states, ranging in price from $49.99-$109.00 per month depending on speed. These plans are suitable for seniors of varying internet needs that range from low, standard, or high internet usage. While there are other less expensive internet providers—such as Frontier which starts at $29.99 per month or Cox starting at $39.99 per month—what you save in dollars may cost you in internet speed. Below, we'll discuss the service, reliability, and connection speeds of Spectrum’s plans to highlight their value for seniors, as well as options to save money on bundling services and qualifying discount plans.
Spectrum is an internet provider offered by their parent company Charter Communications, Inc. Charter was founded in 1993 and became established during the early days of cable and internet service. In addition to the internet, Spectrum also offers TV, voice, and mobile services. Over the decades they have grown into a network that reaches over 30 million customers in 41 states.2 Their company prides itself on delivering the most innovative services at a great value and is focusing on continued growth to increase its reach in the United States.
Important to Note: Not all Spectrum products, pricing, and services are available in all areas. Pricing and actual speeds may vary. Make sure to check which plans and prices are available where you live before purchasing.
Spectrum has a history of giving back to the community. One of their programs, Spectrum Housing Assist, focuses on providing critical home repairs to low-income homeowners in need—including seniors. Many of these repairs include accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, new walkways, grab bar installation, flooring repair, and much more. These efforts show that Spectrum strives for growth and progress, not only in their services but also in the wellbeing of the communities in which they operate.
Spectrum offers great options for seniors of varying internet usage levels. Of the 67 percent of adults over 65 who use the internet, each senior can find a plan that best fits their needs. Spectrum’s internet plans provide enough connectivity and speed to do activities such as checking and sending emails, video calling, and streaming favorite TV shows and movies.
There are no data caps, which means you are not limited to how much internet you use, eliminating worry about overages or penalties. There are also no contract requirements which provides flexibility for seniors who may experience changes in their service needs. Also, if you move to an area that Spectrum does not service, you won’t be subject to any early termination fees.
One of the best features we like about Spectrum is its excellent ease of use. Spectrum provides a modem for free, and offers an option to rent a WiFi router for $5 per month. To keep seniors and vulnerable populations safe, Spectrum is offering self-installation and contact-free delivery. Their equipment can be shipped to your doorstep and includes easy to follow instructions to set up your modem.
With no contract requirements or data cap limitations, below is a complete breakdown of all three Spectrum internet plans:
|Plan||Promotional Prices (up to 1 year)||Speeds||Extra Features|
|Internet||$49.99 per month||Up to 200 Mbps||Free Internet Modem|
|Internet Ultra||$69.99 per month||Up to 400 Mbps||Free Internet Modem|
|Internet Gig||$109.99 per month||Up to 940 Mbps||Free Internet Modem; Free Security Suite; antivirus software|
Spectrum offers three different internet plans, and we highlight two of these plans that fit best for senior internet usage needs below.
If you find yourself using the internet for several hours a day to talk to friends, family, or to watch TV and movies, and listen to music, then Spectrum’s “Internet” Plan may be perfect for you. This is Spectrum’s basic plan that they offer at an introductory rate of $49.99 per month plus taxes and fees. It offers internet connection speeds up to 200 Mbps. This is perfect for seniors who use the internet to check email and browse the web. If you’re a big movie buff or want to stay up to date on your favorite shows, this plan offers enough speed to stream on a few devices at once. This plan also provides enough bandwidth for uploading and downloading files and storing photos and videos of family, grandchildren, or vacations. Spectrum recommends this plan for 2-3 people, so it is good for couples or individuals who regularly use the internet.
Another option from Spectrum is its Internet Ultra plan, starting at $69.99 per month. This plan has increased internet speeds up to 400 Mbps, which is great for seniors who work from home and have to manage large files. It is also a good option for seniors who enjoy watching movies or TV shows in HD. The Internet Ultra plan provides more than enough support if you connect to the internet on other devices such as a TV, cellular phones, tablets, or voice assistant devices like Alexa. This is a good option for seniors who take care of grandchildren or have frequent visitors, as the bandwidth on this plan can also host quality gaming and streaming services.
If you are currently paying for cable television, you may be able to save by bundling your internet and television with one of Spectrum’s packages. Spectrum offers three TV and Internet bundle packages: Double Play Select, Double Play Silver, and Double Play Gold. All of these bundles will save you around $5 per month when compared to purchasing the two services separately.
Double Play Select is offered at an introductory rate of $89.98 per month. It includes over 125 Channels with free HD quality and a 200 Mbps internet connection, which is great for those who just want to channel surf and use the internet to stay connected. This is the same speed as their basic internet plan which starts at $49.99 per month. In addition to free HD channels, Spectrum’s TV service also provides on-demand options and streaming access on their Spectrum TV App. You’ll have access to thousands of movies and shows, which is perfect for a movie night with the family. This bundle provides average savings of $5 per month compared to buying separate internet ($49.99/month) and television ($44.99/month) plans.
Double Play Silver offers all of the basics of the Double Play Select package, with additional channels plus HBO Max, Showtime, and NFL Network. At the introductory rate of $114.98 per month, this package also allows you to stream HBO Max anywhere on the HBO Max App. This is a great option for seniors who love football and shows that are offered on premium networks. You also get all the perks of Spectrum’s basic Internet plan. In addition to the monthly savings, you’ll also be getting access to streaming services that can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 a month on their own.
Savings Tip: If you only want basic TV, Spectrum offers TV Essentials for $14.99 per month in addition to your internet plan. It has over 60 channels and On Demand shows, with access to streaming on the Spectrum TV App. Coupled with the standard Internet plan, this option would come to approximately $75 per month.
The Double Play Gold package is for movie and television buffs. Priced at $134.98 per month, this package offers 200 channels in HD plus Starz, Starz Encore, and TMC, in addition to the networks provided in the Double Play Silver package. Included is the standard Internet plan with 200 Mbps connection speeds, no data caps, and free internet modem. If you spend a lot of time watching TV and movies, and you want the most channels and titles available, this bundle is for you.
One of the drawbacks that we found to Spectrum’s service is that they do not offer any senior-specific discounts or discount internet plans. However, seniors may still have an opportunity to save by applying for Spectrum Internet Assist. Spectrum Internet Assist is a specially priced internet plan for those who qualify. If eligible, households can receive access to a special plan with speeds up to 30 Mbps at a discounted price. The plan also includes Security Suite and a free internet modem.
To qualify for Spectrum Internet Assist, one or more individuals in your home must receive assistance from one of the following programs:
To apply for Spectrum Internet Assist, simply fill out their online application form and provide all the necessary documents.
Senior Savings Tip: Depending on your location and service area, the FCC’s Lifeline program may provide savings of up to $9 per month towards your internet bill. Individuals who participate in Medicaid, SSI, and other federal, state, and tribal assistance programs are eligible.
Spectrum is confident in its service and provides customers a 30-day money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with their service. They also want to make their services as accessible as possible and provide new customers with introductory rates and free equipment such as a modem so you can save every month. Their plans come with no data caps or contracts. This is very different from some of the leading internet providers such as Xfinity by Comcast who require 1-2 year contracts and data caps of 1 TB, and AT&T who require a one-year contract and also caps their data at 1 TB.
Customer Tip: Stuck in an old internet contract? Spectrum offers a Contract Buyout option for specific plans. If you sign up for a Triple Play or limited Double Play promotion, Spectrum will pay an early termination fee charged by your previous provider up to $500.
Spectrum may not be the cheapest plan out there, but for about $20-30 more, you’ll ultimately receive higher connection speeds, wider service area availability, and a host of customer-friendly features such as no contracts, no data limits, and free equipment to get you started. While the provider does not offer senior-specific plans, they provide three options for seniors with varying internet needs, starting at $49.99 per month. If you are a big TV and movie fan, you will see most of your savings when bundling Spectrum internet and TV together. They offer a robust catalog of channels and entertainment options. All in all, Spectrum provides high-speed internet access to seniors at a fair price with great perks.
To sign up for Spectrum internet service, order by phone or go to their website and enter your location. Choose the plan you want and then proceed to check out. Spectrum has suspended in-store pick up, so a self-installation kit will be mailed to your address.
No, Spectrum does not have 24/7 customer service. Their hours are Tuesday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:45 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Spectrum offers many ways to pay your bill. You can pay online at spectrum.net or using the My Spectrum App on your mobile phone. You can also pay by phone or through your bank’s online payment service by adding Spectrum as a payee. Lastly, you can pay at any one of Spectrums stores; they accept check, debit or credit cards, cash and money orders.
Security Suite is an antivirus scanning software that is included in select Spectrum internet service plans. This provides users with a high level of protection from most common viruses during internet use.
Pew Research. (2019). Americans 60 and older are spending more time in front of their screens than a decade ago.
Charter Communications. (2020). Charter Communications History.