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Internet Options in Nevada County

Here are the broadband internet options available in Nevada County in order of speed:

Cable Internet (Comcast, SuddenLink)

Fixed  Wireless  (Smarter Broadband up to 15Mbps $100-$400 w/ 0-3yrs contract , Digital Path up to 20Mbps $250 setup w/ 1yr contract, in Lake Wildwood)

DSL or U-verse (AT&T, or third party resellers like the local Spiral Internet)

4G Cellular Hotspot (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-mobile, or third party resellers)

Satellite (Hughsnet, Exede, Wildblue, Dish Network) !low on list because of High Latency realtime intraction is delayed.

3G Cellular Hotspot (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-mobile, or third party resellers) Average 600Kbps – 1.4 Mbps and up to 3.1 Mbps

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Lifeline Eligibility

You qualify for Lifeline if you are part of any of the programs below:

Medicaid/Medi-Cal Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC)
CalFresh, Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Stanislaus County Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (StanWORKS)
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Welfare-to-Work (WTW)
Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8 Tribal TANF
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

If you are not part of any of the above programs, you can qualify by household income.

To qualify, your Household Annual Income must fall within the range next to your Household Size. A Household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses.

Household Size Annual Income Limits
  1-2 people   $0 – $25,500
  3 people   $0 – $29,700
  4 people   $0 – $35,900*
*To calculate the Yearly Income range for households with more than 4 members, add $6,200 for each additional member. Yearly Income based on 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines.


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Lifeline – State and Federal assistance (Free cell phone and service for low income)

Sign up here: /free-service/

Those of you that are curious about the California and Federal lifeline programs for low income. (You get a free cell phone and plan) For most of these all you have to do is fill out an online application, and upload your a photo of your medical or EBT card, etc… More eligibility info here. Below are the different companies (MVNO‘s) and the Networks they use.

I’d probably go with the one that uses Verizon or AT&T. Verizon seems to get the broadest coverage up here. AT&T is nice, because you can just swap your SIM card around.

If Sprint coverage is ok for you I’d go with Assurance Wireless, because it’s very easy to set up.

The Tag mobile plans with send you a free android smartphone with Unlimited talk text and Data. Data is throttled after ?GBs. 

Company Host network BYOD Free Phone Data Notes
Access Wireless Sprint Yes*1 Yes 200MB
Assurance Wireless Sprint No Yes 500MB
Blue Jay Wireless Sprint, Verizon No Yes No
Budget Mobile Sprint, Verizon No Yes 500MB
Entouch Wireless Sprint Yes Yes 500MB
Feel Safe Wireless AT&T Yes Yes 100MB Only tents in Southern CA?
Life Wireless AT&T Yes*2 Yes 500MB dba Telrite
SafeLink Wireless All 5 (depends on location)*3 Yes Yes 100MB Owned by TracFone
SafetyNet Wireless Yes 100MB
Tag Mobile Sprint, Verizon, T-mobile*4 Yes Yes Unlimited
TruConnect (formerly Telscape) Sprint Yes Yes No

*1 Access Wireless does not officially support BYOB, but customers have reported they can.

*2 Life wireless does not support BYOD officially, but you can just pop the SIM card out and put it in any AT&T, or unlocked GSM phone. APN settings are here. You can only sign up at pop up tents. You have to call them and ask where the closest ones are.

*3 Safelink uses the T-mobile network in California.

*4 Tag mobile’s network depends on your geographic location. I think they have two phones. If you get the CDMA one you can use the Sprint and Verizon networks. Pretty sure they send the GSM one to people in California. That one only uses T-mobile.[16]