Government subsidy makes high-speed Internet free for millions of US households
Nearly two dozen ISPs agree to lower prices / raise speeds to meet $30 / month, 100 Mbps targetBy Shawn Knight 44 comments
In brief: On Monday, the Biden Administration said it secured commitments from 20 leading Internet service providers to effectively offer free high-speed connectivity to low income households. Participating ISPs cover more than 80 percent of the US population, we're told.
As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the administration created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which will allow millions of households to reduce Internet costs by up to $30 a month (or $75 a month for those living on Tribal lands) through the federal subsidy.
To get the most out of the program, the government teamed with leading providers willing to either increase speeds or cut prices to meet a minimum of 100 Megabits per second for no more than $30 per month. Verizon, for example, lowered the cost of its Fios 200 Mbps plan from $39.99 a month to $30 a month. Spectrum, meanwhile, doubled the speed of its $30 plan to reach 100 Mbps.
Participating ISPs also agreed not to implement additional fees and data caps.
It is estimated that some 48 million households will qualify for the ACP based on their income or participation in in existing programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or Lifeline. The full list of eligibility requirements can be found over on the White House website.
Interested parties can reach out to their local ISP for details on how to sign up.
Image credit John Schnobrich, NASA