The White House announced Monday that 20 leading internet service providers have agreed to offer affordable plans that will be free for millions of Americans.
The discounted program is set to benefit people with low incomes. It’s projected that tens of millions of households will be eligible for the service underpinned by already existing federal subsidy.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission benefit that helps households afford the broadband services they need for work, school, healthcare and other purposes.
In addition, households on tribal lands are eligible for a discount of up to $75 per month on internet service. If eligible households contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price, they can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 when purchasing a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
“High-speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity,” Biden said at an event attended by representatives from participating companies and members of Congress.
These 20 companies, including AT&T, Frontier, Comcast, and Verizon cover more than 80% of the U.S. population. They will provide at least one plan that does not cost more than $30 a month and that provides download speeds of at least 100 Mbps.
“The Affordable Connectivity Program is a historic opportunity to close the digital divide by empowering more Americans to get online and connect to our increasingly digital world, “ said David N. Watson, Comcast’s CEO and president.
ACP benefits have been accessed by 11.5 million households thus far. Biden officials have moved to make the program permanent to help lessen the digital divide. The program was originally created as a relief measure following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Other companies on the list include; Allo Communications, AltaFiber, Altice USA, Astound, Breezeline, Comporium, IdeaTek, Cox Communications, Jackson Energy Authority, MediaCom, MLGC, Spectrum, Vermont Telephone Company, Vexus Fiber, and Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV.