The top 20 internet service providers are coming together to join a government program to offer free broadband internet to millions across the country. The program is named the Affordable Connectivity Program and this will provide access to internet services to 40% of the US population or roughly 48 million families.
Why is this Being Offered?
The White House has determined that high-speed internet should no longer be seen as a luxury but as a necessity for Americans. It has been found that too many homes have to go without high-speed internet due to the cost or are required to cut back on other essentials for their family in order to afford the monthly service.
As our country has been battling digital equity issues for way too long, the government has created a solution to help provide access to services. To qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, families must have an income of $55,000 or less. This will allow them to qualify for the $30 per month refund that the program will provide.
As a part of the program, providers will offer at least one service plan that will cost $30 or less per month with internet download speeds of at least 100 mbps. Candidates will receive their $30 monthly rebate which they can use towards their service in order to reduce the fee to zero.
A few of the top service providers that will be participating in the program include Cox, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. These companies have agreed to make their plans match both the cost threshold and the high-speed requirement.
Find Out if You Qualify
If you are interested in signing up for the Affordable Connectivity Program and would like to check to see if you qualify, you can go to www.getinternet.gov. Charitable organizations such as Goodwill and the United Way have confirmed that they will be available to assist Americans in enrolling in the new program.
Although this program is going to help improve access for citizens, the internet providers that are participating only cover 80% of the nation’s population. Unfortunately, providers in rural areas have not yet confirmed that they will be committed to this new program. With this in mind, there are a few Americans that may still lack access to affordable internet services if they live in a remote location.
The program may not be able to provide access to every citizen, however, it is still going to be a beneficial program that will assist in providing internet services to those who previously were unable to afford this necessity.