Low-Income Households May Get Free Broadband

White House rolling out a deal with providers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2022 7:13 AM CDT
Low-Income Households May Get Free Broadband
A worker with the Mason County (Wash.) Public Utility District installs fiber optic cable in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – The Biden administration said Monday that 20 internet companies—including Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T—have agreed to provide discounted service to low-income Americans. The program could effectively make tens of millions of households eligible for free service through an already existing federal subsidy, per the AP. The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included $14.2 billion funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 monthly subsidies ($75 in tribal areas) on internet service for millions of lower-income households. With the new commitment from the internet providers, some 48 million households will be eligible for $30 monthly plans for higher-speed service—making internet service fully paid for with the government subsidy if they sign up with one of the participating providers.

  • Providers: The providers are Allo Communications; AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom); Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink); Astound; AT&T; Breezeline; Comcast; Comporium; Frontier; IdeaTek; Cox Communications; Jackson Energy Authority; MediaCom; MLGC; Spectrum (Charter Communications); Starry; Verizon (Fios only); Vermont Telephone Co.; Vexus Fiber; and Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV.
  • Eligibility: American households are eligible for subsidies through the Affordable Connectivity Program if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, or if a member of their family participates in one of several programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), and Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
(Read more Internet stories.)

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