Biden administration cuts internet costs for low-income Americans: NPR

Twenty ISPs, including companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have committed to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which will offer plans to low-income Americans for no more than $30.

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Twenty ISPs, including companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have committed to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which will offer plans to low-income Americans for no more than $30.

boonchai wedmakawand/Getty Images

The Biden administration says it will work with Internet service providers to lower the cost of high-speed Internet plans for low-income Americans, the White House announced Monday.

The Affordable Connectivity Program offers subscriptions of at least 100 Megabits per second of speed for no more than $30. An estimated 48 million Americans are eligible.

“High speed internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” the White House said. “But too many families are without high-speed internet because of the cost, or have to cut back on other essentials to make their monthly internet payments.”

Twenty ISPs, including national companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, as well as regional companies such as Hawaiian Telecom and Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee, have committed to the program.

“It’s time for every American to experience the social, economic, health, employment and educational benefits of universal access to the Internet,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey.

Americans can visit www.getinternet.gov to determine eligibility and enroll in the program. Those who receive benefits, such as the Pell Grant, Medicaid, or SNAP, may be eligible.

Agencies overseeing these programs will contact recipients of these benefits to see which households qualify for the ACS. Eligible households may also receive notifications from city or government agencies.

Organizations such as United Way and Goodwill will also assist with outreach and enrollment.

“Being connected is essential,” said Daniel Friesen, the chief innovation officer of IdeaTek, a Kansas-based Internet service provider. “Our mission for internet freedom means we believe that everyone should have access to fast, reliable internet and the opportunities it offers, even when the budget is tight.”

As of 2018, 85% of US households had access to broadband internet, with rates generally lower in rural communities, according to Census data.

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