When the pandemic closed offices, schools, and libraries in the spring of 2020, it became clear very quickly that not all Americans had equal access to high-quality internet access. Working from home is great—if you can afford the cost. A 2021 Pew Research study found that 43% of adults with lower incomes don’t have home broadband services.
In an effort to help Americans who can’t afford internet access, the Biden administration has established the Internet for All initiative, investing $65 billion to provide high-speed internet access at an affordable price.
Vice President Kamala Harris announced via Twitter on Thursday that eligible working families can receive a $30 monthly discount on their internet bill and a $100 discount on laptops, desktop computers, and tablets under the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
“Every American, no matter their income, should be able to afford high-speed internet,” said Vice President Harris in the announcement.
The ACP is part of the sweeping Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will allocate federal money to a number of infrastructure projects, including upgrading airports and investments in public transportation.
Americans may qualify for ACP if their income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, if they participate in certain government assistance programs, or under eligibility criteria through a participating broadband provider’s existing program.
Details are available on the website GetInternet.gov or by calling (877) 384-2575.
If you meet the above criteria, you can apply online or through a mail-in application. Once you’re approved, you can contact one of the participating service providers. The offer is only available to new subscribers. The Universal Service Administrative Co. created an online tool to help Americans find coverage near them.
The discounted plans offer a minimum of 100 megabits-per-second download speed, which allows a family of four to join Zoom calls or all stream their favorite entertainment services at the same time.
Information on funding internet access for larger communities is available through the InternetforAll.gov website, which shares details about grant programs such as the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity Act Program.
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