The White House said today it has lined up 20 service providers who will offer high-speed broadband service at the prices listed in the government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and has also launched a federal website that people can use to find the services.
The Federal Communications Commission spear CPA – the successor to its Emergency Broadband Benefit program – in January this year. The $14.2 billion CPA will build on the efforts of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which has helped nearly nine million people afford internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transition to CPA follows Congressional direction in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which earmarked $65 billion for numerous efforts to improve affordable access to broadband services at broadband in the United States, especially in underserved areas and for people who need help affording it. .
Under the CPA, eligible households can receive up to $30 per month off internet service, and up to $75 per month for households on eligible tribal lands. Additionally, eligible households can receive a one-time rebate of up to $100 toward the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet from participating vendors if they contribute more. from $10 and less than $50 to the purchase price.
The White House today unveiled a list of 20 broadband service providers who have pledged to “increase speeds or reduce prices, ensuring that they all provide ACP-eligible households with high-speed internet packages. throughput and high quality for up to $30/month.”
Companies that have signed on to this pledge include very large providers — AT&T, Comcast, Verizon — all the way to state-level providers including Comporium in North Carolina and the Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee. Collectively, the companies’ service areas cover approximately 80% of the US population.
The result, the White House said, is that the pledges will enable “tens of millions of ACP-eligible households to receive free high-speed internet.”
To spread the news, the White House said it was launching the GetInternet.gov website to explain which ACP-eligible households can sign up and find participating service providers.
In addition, federal agencies that provide a variety of benefits to citizens will coordinate outreach efforts for the CPA. Households are eligible for CPA based on income or by participating in federal programs including Pell Grants, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income, among others.
At the state and local levels, governments including those in Michigan, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Mesa, Arizona and New York will send text messages to millions of eligible households regarding the availability of ACPs, said the White House.
Speaking of the potential size of the ACP population, the White House today quoted experts who estimate that 48 million American households – or about 40% of all American households – are eligible for ACP.
“When we connect people to high-speed internet, we connect them with opportunities: the chance to get an education, to train for a new career, to start a business, to stay in touch with loved ones who are far away” , Vice President Kamala Harris said during a White House ceremony today publicizing the broadband provider’s new commitments.
“Earlier this year, our administration called on internet service providers to take action to help people connect to the internet, in part by offering more affordable high-speed internet plans to their customers,” she said. declared. “The suppliers joining us today have answered that call.”