Affordable Connectivity Program
20 internet service providers are now committed to providing discounted service to families and people with low income.
It's a program known as the Affordable Connectivity Program, and its $14.2 billion in funding comes from the $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress in 2021. Under the ACP, "tens of millions of American households" could see their internet bills drop by up to $30 a month. Those who live on tribal lands could see their bills drop by up to $75 a month.
In order to make the program possible, the Biden Administration sought help from major internet service providers in the US and secured 20 commitments in total-which will cover more than 80 percent of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas, per the White House announcement.
Part of the plan also includes making ACP-eligible households aware of the program. With that, the Biden Administration has launched GetInternet.gov, which will guide people on how to sign up for ACP and find participating internet providers in their area.
Households that qualify for programs like Pell Grants, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income can also qualify for ACP. Agencies that manage those programs will reach out to qualifying households.
The federal government will also team up with organizations like United Way, Goodwill, and Catholic Charities USA to help spread the word.
According to the White House, experts estimate that 48 million households - nearly 40 percent of all US households - qualify for the ACP either because their income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or because they receive some kind of government assistance, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Federal Public Housing Assistance.
The providers committed to the ACP include Allo Communications, AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom), Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink), Astound, AT&T, Breezeline, Comcast, Comporium, Frontier, IdeaTek, Cox Communications, Jackson Energy Authority, MediaCom, MLGC, Spectrum (Charter Communications), Starry, Verizon (Fios only), Vermont Telephone Co., Vexus Fiber, and Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV