The White House has just announced an agreement that will bring affordable high-speed internet to almost 48 million households in the U.S.
The Biden administration will cooperate with 20 of the largest internet companies in the country in order to provide broadband internet to rural areas at a much lower cost than before.
Improving internet access, and more precisely, connectivity in rural areas has been one of the key parts of President Biden’s election program, and it seems that the administration is following through on these promises.
The new agreement is between the White House and 20 of the country’s biggest internet providers. As a result of this deal, up to 48 million households may gain access to high-speed broadband internet, making remote work and education much more possible.
Although some of these areas already had broadband access, another thing that President Biden wanted to tackle was the pricing of these plans. Therefore, the ultimate goal was not just to grant Americans access to an internet connection with high speeds, but also to do so at an affordable rate.
The agreement arrives as part of the existing Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). All the providers that are part of it will now guarantee access to monthly plans priced at just $30 for internet speeds of at least 100Mb/s. This means that those who are eligible for a $30 internet plan subsidy (or $75 in tribal communities) will be able to have access to the internet for free.
Although over 10 million American families already took advantage of the ACP subsidies to lower their internet payments, for some areas, that was still not enough. Those who happen to live in those underserved areas with next to internet access still had to pay outrageous amounts of money for the little access they could get. For those families, the $30 subsidy wasn’t enough to make as big a difference as it should.
Hopefully, through the combination of the ACP subsidy and the new agreement with internet service providers (ISPs), many households will be able to receive reliable connectivity at little to no cost.
If you’d like to check whether you can apply for the ACP subsidy in order to lower the cost of your internet plan, make sure that you meet one of the following requirements:
- You, or someone who lives with you, is already the recipient of a government program, such as WIC, Snap, or Tribal TANF
- Your income is at, or under, 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- You’re already eligible for a low-income internet program from one of the participating internet providers
As per the official White House website, the internet service providers that are part of the program are:
- Allo Communications
- AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom)
- Altice (Optimum and Suddenlink)
- Cox Communications
- Jackson Energy Authority
- Spectrum (Charter Communications)
- Verizon (Fios only)
- Vermont Telephone Company
- Vexus Fiber
- Wow! Internet, Cable and TV
The White House has set up a website that details the exact steps you need to take in order to apply for the $30 subsidy. The process seems fairly simple, and once your application is approved, you’ll be able to choose your provider and have no out-of-pocket cost for your internet connection. Keep in mind that even if your ISP doesn’t offer a $30/month plan, you can still apply for the ACP subsidy to receive a $30 discount on your existing contract.