Affordable Internet Program Open to San Antonio Residents

San Antonio officials are promoting a federally funded program to combat the long-standing digital divide in the city, which has been made more apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a government program open to eligible households to secure connectivity.

The program offers a $30 per month discount on broadband services. In promoting the program, the city notes that “several” Internet service providers in San Antonio offer $30 monthly plans so that residents approved for the program don’t have to pay out of pocket. ACP also offers a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop, or tablet from a participating carrier.

The digital divide has been a problem since the dawn of the internet, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the differences as families work and learn from home. In a call for survey input, the social media accounts of Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office say that 17% of Texas students do not have Internet access and 30% do not have an adequate learning device at home.

The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) previously told MySA that areas of San Antonio that have historically been marginalized by racist policies, such as redlining, still lack proper internet access. According to the most recent Census data, Bexar County has the lowest percentage of homes with broadband internet subscriptions at 84.2% of major Texas counties.

San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh spoke about the differences in promoting the federal program.

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