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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 to $89.99 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 Xfinity, with plans starting at $30 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 32 million customers in 41 states.2 The 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 well-being 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 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 (for 12-months)||Speeds||Extra Features|
|Internet||$49.99 per month||Up to 300 Mbps||Free Internet Modem|
|Internet Ultra||$69.99 per month||Up to 500 Mbps||Free Internet Modem|
|Internet Gig||$89.99 per month||Up to 1 Gbps||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 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary). 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 several devices at once. This plan also provides enough bandwidth for uploading and downloading files and storing photos and videos of family, grandchildren, or vacations.
Another option from Spectrum is its Internet Ultra plan, starting at $69.99 per month. This plan has increased Internet speeds up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), 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 currently pay for cable television, you may be able to save by bundling your Internet and TV with one of Spectrum's packages. Spectrum offers bundles for its Internet and Internet Ultra plans. You can bundle either plan with the TV Select or Mi Plan Latino TV package. All these bundles will save you money compared to purchasing the two services separately. Below is a closer look at one of our favorite Spectrum bundles for older adults.
TV Select + Internet Ultra is offered at an introductory rate of $129.98 per month with a 24-month agreement. It includes over 125 channels with free HD quality and a 500 Mbps Internet connection, which is plenty of speed for heavy-duty activities such as streaming video, playing video games, and downloading files. It's the same speed as Spectrum's midtier Internet plan, which starts at $69.99 per month. In addition to free HD channels, Spectrum's TV service also provides on-demand options and streaming access on its Spectrum TVⓇ app. You'll have access to thousands of movies and shows, which is perfect for a movie night with the family.
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 (wireless speeds may vary) 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 Affordable Connectivity Program may provide savings of up to $30 per month toward 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 leading Internet providers such as Xfinity by Comcast, which requires one- or two-year contracts and have data caps of 1.2 TB, and AT&T, which requires a one-year contract and caps its 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 qualifying Internet and TV bundle, 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 pickup, so a self-installation kit will be mailed to your address.
Yes, Spectrum offers 24/7 chat support on its website and has limited daily availability for call support if that’s more your style.
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 Spectrum’s 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.