Los Angeles COVID-19 Internet Resources for Low-Income Families
Although internet access is becoming increasingly essential, it remains particularly inaccessible to low-income and rural households. Now more than ever, children are expected to complete lessons remotely, and the digital divide stands in the way of their success. To help connect families with the internet services necessary to thrive, we compiled the following lists of available resources in Los Angeles:
Discounted Distance Learning Devices in Los Angeles
To meet the high demand for socially equitable technology in Los Angeles, non-profits and philanthropic establishments have created access to free or discounted laptops, desktop computers or tablets by recycling used devices. These devices are professionally refurbished and perform excellently for remote learning. While some of these services may have waitlists, sometimes it can be worth the wait. Here are some of the organizations connecting low-income families to free or discounted distance learning devices in Los Angeles:
- Los Angeles County Library — You can check out a laptop and hotspot loan kit containing a Chromebook and wireless hotspot for up to three weeks with the option to renew if there aren’t any holds on your rental from the LA County Library. All you need to access one of these kits is a full access Los Angeles County library card.
- Comp-U-Dopt Los Angeles — Los Angeles families with at least one child enrolled in elementary, middle or high school without a computer at home can register with Comp-U-Dopt to enter into a lottery for a free reconditioned laptop. These reconditioned laptops also come with free tech support.
- human-I-T — Devoted to closing the digital divide, human-I-T refurbishes laptops, desktop computers and tablets and sells them at discounted rates up to 60 percent off the full retail price. To qualify for human-I-T discounted technology, you need to be enrolled in a government assistance program such as SNAP, TANF or SSDI to prove your low-income status.
Maybe you need a low-cost laptop now, and you can’t wait. Your local tech repair shops can be great locations for discounted refurbished laptops. The following small businesses located in Los Angeles offer refurbished devices:
- A1A Computing
- Jewel City Computers
- Laptop Outlet
Remote Learning Programs and Virtual Child Care Centers in Los Angeles
As virtual learning becomes a more prevalent option nationwide, parents are facing the new challenge of supplementing their children’s education and recreation with online materials. There are countless educational subscriptions to choose from, but the monthly costs associated with these services can quickly add up. The organizations below offer free or discounted online educational programming or virtual child care for Los Angeles families on a budget:
- LA County Library — If you have an LA County library card, you can access free virtual programming covering a diverse array of subjects appealing to students of all ages. These resources include STEAM activities, storytime, mindfulness techniques, origami lessons and more. Some LA County Library learning tools are available even without a library card, and all of them are completely free.
- The Child Care Resource Center — Offering financial assistance to low-income families in Los Angeles, the CCRC makes it possible for those unable to afford childcare on their own to access high-quality preschool programs at a reduced cost. This assistance covers virtual child care programs, as well.
- LA County Office of Education — The eLibrary services program from the Los Angeles County Office of Education maintains a list of free web resources for at-home education. Here, you’ll find various electronic books, interactive learning games and even free physical education ideas.
- First 5 LA — First 5 LA provides various links to free virtual K-12 curricula in every subject imaginable through their resource hub targeting parents, children and educators living in LA.
- Police Activity League — Call the P.A.L. officer in your LA neighborhood to find out about available free after-school programming with a focus on the arts, athletics, tutoring, social services and a host of other safe activities for children.
Free Wireless Internet Access in Los Angeles
As common as the internet may seem, 25 percent of K-12 households in LA County lack internet service or a computer, even as all students are expected to complete assignments or take entire classes online. One way to address this disparity is free Wi-Fi, and the following list of resources will help you find a free-internet zone in an LA neighborhood near you:
- Los Angeles Public Library Branches
- LA County Hotspot Locator
- WifiMap.io Los Angeles Free Wi-Fi Map
Between Los Angeles’ many library branches, city parks and business establishments providing complimentary internet access, you’re sure to find the internet connection you need. Here are four more places where you can get free Wi-Fi in Los Angeles:
- The Los Angeles Convention Center
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Pershing Square
- Griffith Observatory
Public Wi-Fi is available throughout downtown Los Angeles, and many local businesses offer free internet to their visitors. Take a look at our Wi-Fi map below for a list of Los Angeles locations providing free Wi-Fi internet:
Free Wireless Internet Access in Los Angeles, California
Internet Services in Los Angeles – An Insider’s Guide
Home to over 13.1 million people, all in need of fast, reliable internet services, Los Angeles is a city that has it all — from world-class universities, such as USC and UCLA, to professional teams in almost every imaginable sport, and massive corporations like Disney and Universal Pictures. The City of Angels features an expansive broadband infrastructure containing 12 residential and 26 business internet providers. Deciding which internet provider is right for you can be challenging, so we created this Insider’s Guide to help you find the best California internet option for you. We’ll walk you through everything you’ll need to know to pinpoint the Los Angeles provider that fits your budget and needs.
Overview of Internet Providers in Los Angeles By Connection
|Provider||Connection||Download speeds up to||Availability||View Plans|
|ConnectTo Communications||DSL||75 Mbps||3%||Visit|
|California Internet||Fixed Wireless||1000 Mbps||1%|
Finding the Fastest Internet in Los Angeles
With the right internet service, you can stream 4K videos, play HD games online, and video chat with your friends and family all over the world at the push of a button. While these technological advancements have likely become part of your daily routine, you’ll need a high-speed connection to make the most of them. Otherwise, you may find yourself at the wayside while everyone else is having all the fun. Fortunately, in Los Angeles, there are several types of internet to choose from, including DSL, cable, fiber, fixed wireless, and satellite internet. Below, our team has put together a list of internet options in Los Angeles by type, so you can pick the fastest connection type that fits your specifications.
Fastest Los Angeles Internet Providers
|Connection Type||Internet Providers||Download Speeds Up To||Upload Speeds Up To||Availability|
(Covering 37 percent of Los Angeles)
|AT&T||1 Gbps||1 Gbps||34.4%|
|EarthLink Fiber||1 Gbps||1 Gbps||32%|
(Covering 100% of Los Angeles)
|Spectrum||940 Mbps||35 Mbps||100%|
(Covering 95.9% of Los Angeles)
|AT&T||100 Mbps||20 Mbps||90.5%|
|EarthLink||100 Mbps||20 Mbps||88.7%|
(Covering 53.6% of Los Angeles)
|Starry Internet||200 Mbps||200 Mbps||53.5%|
|Starry Internet||200 Mbps||200 Mbps||53.5%|
(Covering 100% of Los Angeles)
|Viasat Internet||35 Mbps||3 Mbps||100%|
|HughesNet||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||100%|
Compare Internet Providers in Nearby Cities:
Altadena, Culver City, Downey, Gardena, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Park, Lawndale, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Sunland, Whittier
Average download speed in Los Angeles:
Based on 1,587,447 speed tests
Searching for the Cheapest Internet Plan in Los Angeles
It doesn’t matter if you’re a successful business owner or a cash-strapped college student, no doubt you want to get the best bank for your buck when it comes to your internet service. However, this feat is often easier said than done. Many times, it’s difficult to know which provider to choose, especially with all the speeds, prices, and fine print that comes along with signing a contract. To help you narrow down your search and simplify the process, our experts created a new metric called internet value. By dividing the cheapest internet plan prices by their download speeds, internet value allows you to pick the provider with the best internet bargain. We organized the most affordable internet plans in Los Angeles by internet value in the list below, so you can easily find the price per megabit that suits your budget.
Best Internet Value of Los Angeles Providers
|Provider||Connection Type||Plan Price||Download Speeds Up To||Internet Value||Contact|
|Frontier Communications||Fiber||$74.99 per month||940 Mbps||$0.08 per Mbps||844-974-3041|
|AT&T Fiber||Fiber||$80 per month||940 Mbps||$0.09 per Mbps||855-957-4313|
|Spectrum||Cable||$109.99 per month||1 Gbps||$0.11 per Mbps||855-959-3083|
|Starry Internet||Fixed||$50 per month||200 Mbps||$0.25 per Mbps||844-950-3220|
|Sonic||DSL||$59.99 per month||40 Mbps||$1.50 per Mbps||844-950-3220|
|HughesNet||Satellite||$39.99 per month||25 Mbps||$1.60 per Mbps||855-958-4319|
|Frontier Communications||DSL||$49.99 per month||30 Mbps||$1.67 per Mbps||844-974-3041|
|Viasat Internet||Satellite||$99.99 per month||50 Mbps||$2.00 per Mbps||844-983-3105|
Getting a Great Deal on Internet Services in Los Angeles
Whether you’re looking at a new pair of kicks or hesitating to press the purchase button for that shiny, new 4K TV, we all want to find a great deal for everything we purchase. Buying internet is no different. As with these situations, you can prepare yourself to take the pecuniary plunge by learning more about internet plans and prices. Therefore, we are here to teach you the ins and outs, whys and wherefores, and tips and tricks associated with getting a great deal on internet services in Los Angeles. By following these pieces of expert advice, before you know it, you’ll be bargaining with the best of them.
Procure Promotional Prices
Most internet providers offer promotional rates throughout the year to entice you into signing up with them. Think of them as the special offer sign outside of your local sushi joint. If you come in now, you can buy one, get one free! These promotional prices come in a variety of forms, but usually, providers advertise discounted monthly rates for first-time subscribers. These promotional periods can last from a couple of months to a year, depending on the provider, and they can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Insider’s Tip: Spectrum’s Triple Play Select package in Los Angeles includes internet, TV, and phone for only $99.97 per month for 12 months.
When taking advantage of a promotional rate, it’s important to understand that they don’t last forever. Typically, promotional rates last a year before they jump in price. Take note of your sign-up date, and before your promotional period ends, give them a call to negotiate your monthly rate. It may not be easy, as customer service reps receive rigorous training to play hardball, but with some persistence, and a little bit of haggling, it’s almost always possible to get a lower rate. If not, hey, you can always switch providers for a new promotional price elsewhere, so let them know that.
Select a Complementary Contract
Everyone has different circumstances. So, it’s essential to choose an internet plan that caters to the needs of your unique situation. If you’re a Los Angelite for life, then signing a long-term service agreement is a cost-effective option for your situation. In fact, many internet providers in Los Angeles offer discounted rates to long-term customers who are willing to commit to a two-year contract or longer. Who would want to leave L.A. anyways?
On the other hand, maybe you’re ready for a new scene, or you see yourself relocating to the countryside in the future. If so, a month-to-month plan may better suit your needs. With this type of plan, many companies will give you the freedom to terminate or change your internet package whenever you like, thus allowing you to avoid paying any cancellation fees. It feels good to be free!
Pursue Provider Perks
The tipping point between a good internet provider and a great one often lies in what perks they offer. Provider perks may include a variety of bonuses, such as access to useful features, free equipment, discounts, fee waivers, no contracts, or unlimited data caps. Sometimes providers advertise these perks openly, but most of the time, they don’t, which is why they are also known as “hushed” perks. For example, Spectrum customers in Los Angeles get free access to Spectrum’s Security Suite, an advanced virus protection and parental control program. Similarly, Sonic offers up to 15 email accounts and 1 gigabyte (GB) of cloud storage with their internet plans.
Money Saver Alert: AT&T is currently offering a free year of HBO in Los Angeles when you sign up for an internet and TV bundle for $79.98 per month on a two-year contract.
Before making your final internet decision, research and compare each provider’s perks. Be heedful and scour the details closely, as one provider perk may be the reason why you go with a particular provider over another. Give the company a call and ask them for specific details about your potential plan. They want you to sign up, so the representative on the phone should be more than happy to tell you all about them. We created the table below to give you some insight into the common perks offered by internet providers in Los Angeles.
Internet Provider Perks in Los Angeles
Provider Perks Internet Providers in Los Angeles No Data Caps AT&T Fiber, Spectrum & Frontier No Contracts Spectrum, Frontier & Google Fiber Free Internet Equipment AT&T & Spectrum
- Internet App Integration
- Free Cloud Storage
- Free Email Creation
- Battery Backup
- Music Subscription
Disclaimer: Some provider perks vary by city, valid promotions, and choice of plan.
Bundle Services for Benefits
Even though they are becoming less common today, many of us still subscribe to cable television and phone services. If you’re one of these individuals, you should consider bundling these services into one package. Not only is bundling cheaper than buying à la carte, but it is convenient, as you can pay for all of your services in one simple payment portal. Service plans such as these are typically referred to as either a Double Play or Triple Play plan. Double Play plans combine internet service with either TV or phone while Triple Play plans merge all three. Imagine how much easier having one company for these services will be, especially when dealing with billing or customer service issues.
Los Angeles Provider Perk: In Los Angeles, Viasat and HughesNet offer free installation with an equipment lease when you sign up.
Select a Service for Your Situation
Contrary to what an internet provider may tell you, there’s no one-size-fits-all internet plan. If you only check emails and browse Facebook, you don’t need an extremely fast fiber-optic internet connection. On the other hand, if you have a large family of online gamers and tech-savvy children, and you run your home business out of your house, then you will need higher speeds and a more reliable connection. Choosing a plan with the wrong speed can leave you frustrated. Either you’ll have to cope with constant lag and buffering due to insufficient speeds, or you’ll feel unfulfilled, as you’re paying for excessive speed that you simply don’t need. To guide you along this internet service street, we constructed this list of the common internet connection types, so you can choose the one that matches your necessities.
- Satellite — Best for those who live in rural areas with little to no access to other internet options
- DSL — Best for single-user households with basic internet needs
- Cable — Best for those who stream HD content on multiple devices
- Fiber — Best for large families of online gamers, 4K streamers, and small business owners
Avoiding Hidden Fees in Los Angeles
You would assume that after signing up with a new internet provider that they would spell everything out for you easily and directly. You should know exactly how much you will have to pay each month. Right? Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t always the case. Internet companies are notorious for tacking additional fees onto your billing statement with no warning. It could be that your payment was a day late, or maybe a technician showed up unannounced for “routine maintenance.” Regardless of what the fee is for, it’s disheartening and often confusing to pay out of your pocket (sometimes hundreds of dollars) for something you didn’t know existed. Fortunately for you, our team assembled the list below of the most common hidden fees in Los Angeles, so you can prepare in advance before signing a contract.
Internet Fees in Los Angeles
|Common Providers in Los Angeles||Early Termination Fees||Setup and Installation Fees||Late Payment Fees||Equipment Replacement Fees|
|HughesNet||N/A||Up to $449.99||N/A||Lease for $14.99 per month or Buy for $449.99|
|Spectrum||N/A||$49.99||Up to $8.95||Up to $10|
|Viasat Internet||N/A||$99||From $5 per month||$10 per month|
Data Overage Fees
Data or broadband caps are artificial limits that some providers impose on their customers to prevent them from abusing their services. Going over your limit may mean fines or throttling of your connection, meaning your internet speed performance will decrease significantly. These caps can sound intimidating at first. However, on a monthly basis, the average household usually doesn’t come anywhere close to exceeding their data cap (as long as they aren’t using satellite internet). Still, it’s a good thing to keep an eye on, especially if your family has a habit of binge-watching days worth of HD shows and movies. Still waiting on the next season of The Mandalorian!
Luckily, many providers such as AT&T Fiber, Spectrum, Sonic, and Frontier don’t have data caps for Los Angeles customers, so you don’t have to fear penalties for exceeding the limit. However, not all providers have come to the light side. HughesNet limits your download speed to a mere 1-3 Mbps after you reach 20, 30, or 50 gigabytes, depending on your plan. To put that in perspective, streaming Netflix in HD uses about 3 GB per hour, so with the 20-GB plan, watching six HD movies will put you over the limit. Similarly, Viasat will also throttle your internet usage after reaching your data cap, but they offer a meter-free period from midnight to 5 a.m., so it kind of pays to be a night owl.
Early Termination Fees
When you sign up for a new provider, canceling is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you’re switching from one company to another, you should remember that doing so before the end of your service agreement can result in an early termination fee (ETF). Many companies prorate their ETFs based on how many months you have left on your contract. Viasat, for example, charges $15 for every incomplete month of service. So, if you cancel three months early, expect to pay $45 in ETFs.
The best way to avoid paying early termination fees is to sign up for a no-contract plan that lets you leave at any time, though these plans tend to be more expensive. As they say, freedom isn’t free. When searching for a new internet provider, ask them directly if they offer some sort of contract buyout program. Some companies, like Spectrum, are willing to pay up to $500 for your ETFs with your current provider in exchange for your service.
Internet Equipment Fees
These sneaky fees are another strategy that internet companies use to add a few extra dollars onto your monthly bill. When setting up an account with a new provider, most companies will try to get you to lease a modem from them. For almost every provider in Los Angeles, the equipment rental charge is $10 per month.
Over the span of a year, you can end up paying for the modem entirely and still not own it. While they provide adequate equipment, for the same $120 that you pay in rental charges over a year, you could simply purchase a high-performance modem that can access the full potential of your internet service. A potential downside of using your own equipment is if anything breaks or goes wrong, you will be responsible for repairing or replacing it.
Setup and Installation Fees
A few hidden fees that that many internet providers love to keep secret are setup and installation fees. In most cases, it’s hard to escape paying these pesky fees. Modern internet requires specialized equipment, such as routers, modems, cables, and satellite dishes. This requirement often means you can expect a visit from a service technician. With AT&T, this visit will set you back $100. However, in some cases, you may be able to avoid these fees altogether. For example, if you lease a router from HughesNet, they’ll waive the setup and installation fees. Frontier will also forego these fees when you sign a two-year service agreement.
If the company allows it, the best way to avoid setup and installation fees is by doing a self-installation. If your home already contains the correct wiring for internet access, then setting up your own router or modem is a fairly simple process, as well as a great way to save money when signing up with a new provider.
Setting Up Your High-Speed Internet in Los Angeles
Many providers in Los Angeles, including AT&T and Spectrum, will allow you to perform a self-install for any equipment needed to receive internet service. You can complete this surprisingly simple process in a matter of minutes with minimal electrical skills and basic tools. If you’re having trouble setting up your new modem, we’re here to help you! We put together an easy-to-follow guide that will walk you through each step of the self-installation process, regardless of your connection type here.
Learning About Los Angeles’s Internet Neighborhoods
Los Angeles contains some of the biggest companies in the world, and these innovative businesses and job opportunities are attracting more and more people to L.A. than ever before. As such, tech giants are extending their reach beyond Silicon Valley and into Los Angeles, transforming the city structure and tapping into the social influence of the local people. Neighborhoods in Los Angeles reflect these changes in their unique diversity of internet providers, plans, and connection types. If you’re one of these people planning on relocating to Los Angeles for these opportunities, or you are merely looking for another neighborhood nearby, choosing the right neighborhood with the correct internet capabilities that fit your needs is essential. So, our team of experts compiled this list of available providers by neighborhood, so you can decide the spot that best fits you and your family.
Los Angeles Neighborhood Internet Availability
|Neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California||Spectrum||Viasat Internet||Frontier||AT&T||Starry Internet|
Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Services in Los Angeles
What provider offers the fastest internet in Los Angeles?
Spectrum and EarthLink Fiber offer the fastest internet speeds in Los Angeles. Both providers offer up to 1 Gbps download speeds.
What provider offers the cheapest internet in Los Angeles?
HughesNet offers the cheapest internet service in Los Angeles with internet plans starting at $39.99 per month for up to 25 Mbps download speeds. In terms of internet value, AT&T Fiber offers the best internet bargain in Los Angeles at only $0.09 per Mbps.
What type of wired internet is most common in Los Angeles?
Cable internet from Spectrum is the most common type of wired internet available in Los Angeles. With download speeds reaching up to 940 Mbps, 100 percent of Los Angeles residents have access to a cable internet connection.
What Los Angeles neighborhood offers the most internet provider options?
Beverly Hills is the most connected neighborhood in Los Angeles, with AT&T, Spectrum, Sonic, Frontier, and EarthLink offering coverage in that area.
How many internet providers serve the Los Angeles area?
In Los Angeles, there are 12 residential internet providers, 26 business internet providers, and 4 cellular internet providers.