The US government is trying to lower internet costs at a time when they’re most critical.
The US government opened up applications for a new program Friday, offering qualifying residents up to $75 off their monthly internet bills per month. Called the Affordable Connectivity Program, the initiative is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission and funded through the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, passed in November.
The program began during the pandemic as the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which offered up to $50 per month to help pay for internet service for those who qualify. Hundreds of broadband providers had committed to participating in that FCC program, including AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, T-Mobile and Verizon. AT&T, Cricket Wireless and Walmart also offered discounts.
People can apply by the mail or online through the FCC’s website ACPBenefit.org, where it lays out eligibility requirements, including household income based on size of a family, whether they participate in other government assistance programs and whether they live on tribal lands. People who do qualify can receive up to $30 per month discount on their internet, which jumps to $75 per month if they’re on qualifying tribal lands. The program also provides a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.
For additional questions about the Affordable Connectivity Program, email ACPSupport@usac.org or call 877-384-2575.