Internet access is a basic necessity for many. The pandemic has proven the need for stable, high-speed connections so that people can work from home. But it also serves as a vital tool for job seekers.

Unfortunately, affordable internet access is not as widespread as many people think. There are still huge sections of the population, especially in underserved communities that do not have access. The problem is solved through free and cheap internet.

Several cable companies have already started offering reduced access. Read on to see what this means and whether you qualify for Internet access.

Here is the background

In a White House statement, President Biden expressed the need for American families to have access to high-speed Internet. However, for some it is prohibitively expensive. Part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act includes the Accessible Connection Program (ACP) to address this issue.

The ACP aims to reduce the cost of Internet access for millions of Americans by up to $ 30 a month. This can reduce costs by up to $ 75 per month in tribal lands. President Biden added that 20 internet companies have already committed to the ACP, promising to provide eligible households with internet for no more than $ 30 a month.

For others the services will be free. From large suppliers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, serving dozens of states, to smaller suppliers serving rural areas such as the Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee and Comporium in North Carolina, the commitments will allow tens of millions of eligible ACP households. to get high-speed internet for free “, the White House explained in the statement.

The expected Internet speed of ACP providers is at least 100 Mbps.

What can you do about it

ACP is designed for eligible families who meet specific criteria and there are three ways to do so. Here are the ways to qualify:

  • Your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, a two-person household will be eligible if the income is below $ 36,620. A family of four will be eligible if the combined income is less than $ 55,500.
  • You or someone in your household participates in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, FPHA, veterans ‘pensions and survivors’ benefits or similar programs.
  • You already meet the eligibility criteria for an existing low-income Internet program from a participating broadband provider.

The following cable companies are committed to providing eligible families with at least one high-speed Internet connection for $ 30 or less per month:

If you meet the ACP requirements, you can register in two ways. The first is through the White House Get the internet page. Although the page has detailed instructions, the application forms are in PDF format and must be sent by post. Once approved, you will need to choose an ISP.

The other method is to register with your existing ISP if you participate in the program. The links above will take you directly to the registration page for the respective provider.

If you need help buying a tablet or laptop, ACP can also help. ACP eligible households can receive a one-off discount of up to $ 100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer or tablet.

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