According to reports, 20 Internet providers including Verizon, Comcast and AT&T have promised the U.S. government to offer low-cost U.S. Income households faster internet service for basically free. The President of the United States will meet with executives of these ISPs and unveil the agreements. These commitments are also part of the so-called Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The White House says the program could help eligible U.S. households cut their Internet bills by $30 a year. Furthermore, with the latest commitment, tens of millions of households eligible for the ACP will receive free internet access. A senior administration official also said on the conference call that the companies made the commitments voluntarily.
About 48 million households, or nearly 40% of households in the United States, are eligible for this broadband benefit. However, to ensure eligible households take advantage of this offer, the U.S. government will launch a website (GetInternet.gov) that provides details on how they can sign up and find participating Internet providers in their area.
Gizchina News of the week
The White House said in February that more than 10 million households had signed up for the ACP, the largest broadband payment plan in the nation’s history.
Regarding the ACP program, the FCC had this to say
“The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price”.
Eligibility for ACP
If the household income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then it will be eligible for ACP. Furthermore, if any household member meets any of the criteria below, then the household will be eligible
- Federal Pell Grant recipient during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program;
- Participates in any of the following assistance programs:
- National School Lunch Program
- School Breakfast Program
- USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- or Lifeline;
- Lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income-based)