10 Mln US Households Enrolled In Affordable Connectivity Program: White House

The White House has announced that 10 million households have signed up for the Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program, launched to provide low-cost internet connection to low-income households.

Under the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program, created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, low-income households can apply to receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service and up to $75 per month for eligible households on Tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if its income is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Eligibility is also applied if a member of the household meets at least one of the following criteria: Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline; Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year; Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

The White House said the Federal Communications Commission and its ACP outreach partners will host ten local enrollment events in different areas of the country over the next month to raise awareness for the program and train grassroots navigators on ACP eligibility and the enrollment process. Event times and locations will be
announced in the coming days.

The Affordable Connectivity Program was launched at the beginning of this year, essentially replacing the previous Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which was established to help cover the cost of broadband for low-income households and households that experienced a loss of income as a result of the pandemic.

It is estimated that almost one out of three internet users in the U.S. are worried about paying their internet bills during the pandemic.

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