If you’re looking to switch to a cheaper internet plan, now you can get online with affordable prepaid service from Straight Talk, which uses Verizon’s 5G and 4G LTE network.
This isn’t so much a partnership as a trickling down of Verizon’s 5G Home service through its prepaid company Tracfone to its subsidiary Straight Talk, known for cheap prepaid mobile plans. Straight Talk Home Internet offers modest speeds for the cheapest fixed wireless access internet on the market right now: for $45 a month, you’re getting unlimited data at a maximum of 100Mbps on 5G or 50Mbps on 4G LTE. You’ll need to pay $99 up front for the router, which supports Wi-Fi 6, but service is prepaid monthly and doesn’t require a contract.
Those speeds are lower than the 300 Mbps max speed for the $50 monthly Verizon 5G Home and far below the 1 Gbps maximum download for $70 monthly Verizon 5G Home Plus, neither of which require a contract, either. (Both are half-off for subscribers of certain Verizon 5G mobile plans.)
But Straight Talk, which uses the same network as Verizon 5G Home, can be even cheaper since it works with the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives qualifying individuals $30 per month for internet or up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. That makes it the most affordable way to get 5G home internet without needing to sign up for a phone plan and potentially the cheapest way to get online in areas that don’t have competitive internet providers.
5G home internet has matured over the last few years as carriers build out their 5G networks, offering it in more areas and at rates that compete with wired internet from local service providers. In addition to Verizon, T-Mobile offers 5G home internet for $50 per month (or $30 for subscribers of its Magenta MAX mobile tier) and also doesn’t have a data cap or require a contract. AT&T offers 5G home internet in very limited areas where it doesn’t provide wired internet, so it’s not really competing with the other two big carriers.
For individuals and families on a budget, Straight Talk Home Internet could be the cheapest FWA option. You can sign up for it at over 2,000 Walmart stores across the US or online at websites for Walmart or Straight Talk.