The Biden administration says 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discounted services to low-income Americans.
In fact, the program announced Monday could make tens of millions of households eligible for free service. The $1 trillion infrastructure package approved by Congress last year included funding that provided $30 monthly Internet subsidies for millions of lower-income households — $75 in tribal areas.
With the new ISP commitment, 48 million households are eligible for $30 monthly subscriptions for a service of at least 100 megabits per second. That makes their Internet service fully covered by the government subsidy if they sign up for service with one of the program’s providers.
Part of President Joe Biden’s announcement on Monday will be the launch of GetInternet.gov, a website that details how Americans can sign up for an affordable service and find participating Internet service providers in their area.
The Biden administration said Americans may qualify for the service either because their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, or because a household member meets one of the other criteria below:
- Participates in one of the following programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Special supplementary feeding program for women, infants and children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Aid for Public Housing (FPHA)
- Veteran’s pension and survivor’s benefit
- Free school lunch program or school breakfast program at a discounted price, including at schools eligible for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) community benefits
- Federal Pell Grant (received in current award year)
- Certain tribal assistance programs, including Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start (only households meeting the income qualification standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Biden is expected to speak about the program from the White House Monday afternoon.