In June, the White House announced a package of initiatives to make connectivity more accessible to more people. Chief among them is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households $30 per month off their internet bills. Some 20 leading internet providers will offer ACP-eligible households a high-speed internet plan for no more than $30 per month. Details about the ACP can be found here.
Here are five things you should know about this new initiative:
1. ACP could help you pay for high-speed Internet, a necessity in today’s digital world.
You may have already thought about getting high-speed internet at-home but are worried about the extra bill. Or you may have found that your internet speed can’t keep up when you video chat with family or friends. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, connectivity has gone from being a luxury to a necessity. Getting high-speed internet can enable you to access essential health and emergency services and better participate in basic life activities from shopping and communicating with loved ones, to managing your health and finances. Once connected you can even learn new technology skills and meet new people with OATS’ virtual programming by going to http://www.seniorplanet.org
2. Your Internet service may end up being completely free.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a government benefit program for eligible households, provides a benefit of up to $30/month toward internet service for eligible households, and up to $75/ month for households on Tribal lands. Many participating internet providers offer high-speed internet for $30/ month, so you could get your internet service for free!
3. There are several ways you can qualify for ACP.
If your income is 200% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, if you participate in certain other government programs, or if you participate in an internet service provider’s low-income plan, you are likely eligible. The exact income limit varies based on where you live and the number of people in your household.
You also are eligible if you participate in certain government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, the Federal Public Housing Assistance program, the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, and others. If you already receive a Lifeline benefit, you automatically qualify for ACP, and you can receive both benefits at the same time.
4. It only takes several minutes to apply and there are resources to help you.
You can find a step-by-step guide to applying for ACP in English and Spanish at Senior Planet’s Aging Connected website. There are more details here. You can also go to the government’s website to submit an application or print out a mail-in application. If you already have an internet service provider, they can help you apply.
If you don’t have online access, you can call our tech hotline at (877) 745-1930.
5. It’s easy to find participating Internet service providers near you.
Many internet service providers have offerings for $30/month which means that eligible households will get internet for free. You can find a participating provider near you by going to www.agingconnected.org/acp. Also, once you apply and are approved for ACP, you will receive a list of participating providers near you.
Questions? Call our tech hotline at (877)-745-1930.