White House announces deal that will provide high-speed, low-cost internet to millions of American homes

A big chunk of Biden administration agenda was expanding high-speed broadband Internet to rural and low-income families. Today, the White House revealed that it has reached an agreement with 20 of the largest ISPs in the US to provide low-cost, high-speed internet to these underserved areas.

Since taking office, President Biden has highlighted the plight of the poorest Americans, or those living in extremely rural areas, who need reliable broadband access for remote learning and working.

As part of the existing Affordable Connectivity Program, ISPs will now offer $30 monthly plans with speeds of at least 100Mbs. Those eligible for a $30 grant will have free internet access.

In February, Vice President Harris said that more than 10 million households had already applied for ACP grants to help pay for broadband. The main problem was that the internet was still very expensive in some places, even with the $30 discount. The broadband internet providers that now offer these new $30 plans should make the ACP more impactful for a lot more families, although the main ISPs are always looking for ways end the provision of faster internet in rural areas.

The Affordable Connectivity Program will give more than 48 million households (approximately 40% of the country) in the US high-speed Internet access at little or no cost, thanks to the aforementioned subsidy that they can apply for. There are three different ways to meet the requirement:

  • Your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Do you or someone in your household already participate in government programs like Snap, WIC, Tribal TANF, etc.
  • You meet the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income internet program.

As part of Congress’s $1 trillion infrastructure package, the ACP provides $30 a month grants ($75 in tribal communities) that families can use to pay for internet costs. This means you can apply for a subsidy to discount your existing internet plan.

Here’s a list of companies that will now offer high-speed internet plans for $30 a month or less:

  • Allo Communications
  • AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom)
  • Altice USA (Great and Suddenlink)
  • surprise
  • ATT
  • Breezeline
  • comcast
  • Comporium
  • Border
  • IdeaTek
  • Cox Communications
  • Jackson Energy Authority
  • MediaCom
  • MLGC
  • Spectrum (Charter Communications)
  • starry
  • Verizon (Wires only)
  • Vermont Telephone Co.
  • Vexus fiber
  • Wow! Internet, cable and TV

The program also offers eligible applicants a $100 stipend towards the purchase of an internet-connected device such as a laptop, desktop or tablet.

The White House created a web site to see if your family qualifies for the government rebate and/or subsidy. Even if your ISP doesn’t offer a $30/month plan, you can still apply for the subsidy and get $30 from your existing plan; all you need to prove is that you meet the criteria. More than 1,300 companies across the country have said they will accept the ACP benefit.

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