Families who've struggled to say connected, even as network speeds have increased, could soon be connected to high-speed internet under a new Biden administration program.
In an announcement today (May 9), the White House announced it was moving to lower prices of high speed internet for millions of families in America. As part of this program, 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discounted service to low-income households.
With this commitment, high speed internet reaching 100 Mbps will cost no more than $30 for a month, and $75 a month in tribal areas, with no additional fees and no data caps. Eligible Americans who sign up for the service with participating internet providers could essentially have the service fully paid for.
Today's announcement stems from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year, which created a $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program aimed at making high-speed internet more accessible. Here's what you need to know about the program.
Who is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The White House says that eligible Americans include households where income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or if a family member is part of another federal program like Pell Grants, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income.
That applies to 48 million American families — 40% of all households in the country — and will be available in areas where internet service providers have service. This basically means areas where 80% of the U.S. population lives, which includes 50% of the rural population.
“High-speed internet service is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity,” the White House statement read. The initiative is part of President Biden's push for high-speed internet in rural areas and for low-income families. That was a key part of the Biden-backed infrastructure bill.
Who is participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Participating internet service providers include the following:
- Allo Communications
- AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom)
- Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink)
- Cox Communications
- Jackson Energy Authority
- Spectrum (Charter Communications)
- Verizon (Fios only)
- Vermont Telephone Co.
- Vexus Fiber
- Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV
Where can you sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
You can check if you’re eligible for the ACP and sign up with simple steps through this White House website (opens in new tab).
The White House mentions this is “one part of the President’s strategy for lowering the cost of high-speed internet for all Americans.” So hopefully we can expect to see more subsidies and plans in the near future.
In other news, the iPod is finally dead as Apple discontinues production on the last iPod.