48 Million Households Can Get Free High-Speed Internet

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Nearly 40% of U.S. households qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Key points

  • The U.S. government has asked internet providers to lower the cost of their monthly internet plans for eligible households.
  • The government will also provide monthly credits through its Affordable Connectivity Program.
  • With these initiatives, low-income Americans and those who participate in assistance programs can get free high-speed internet at home.

Most of us use the internet daily. While internet access is an additional monthly expense, it's something most people need to do work, homework, and handle everyday affairs. It can be challenging to take care of these needs if you don't have access to high-speed internet at home. Many families struggle to afford high-speed internet, and some don't have access due to the financial burden.

But positive change is coming. An estimated 48 million households -- nearly 40% of households across the country, will be able to get free internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The Biden Administration has partnered with internet service providers to help more Americans get high-speed internet in their homes. This new pact between the U.S. government and participating internet service companies will lower the monthly price of internet service for eligible Americans. Lower costs and a government-provided credit could make internet access free for millions.

Introducing the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an expansion of the original Emergency Broadband Benefit program. Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, Americans can get the following:

  • Affordably priced monthly high-speed internet plans
  • A monthly credit that could result in a $0 monthly internet bill

What this means for eligible households

Twenty participating internet providers have agreed to reduce high-speed internet plan costs for eligible households. Some brands will also boost internet speeds for these low-cost plans.

  • Participating providers will offer monthly high-speed internet plans for $30 or less to eligible households.
  • These plans must meet minimum download speeds of at least 100 megabytes per second, as long as the company's infrastructure allows it.

Additionally, eligible households can take advantage of a monthly credit that will lower the cost of their bill even more -- which could make their monthly internet bill free.

  • Most households will get a credit of up to $30 on their monthly bill.
  • Households on Tribal Lands will get a credit of up to $75 on their monthly bill.

Who is eligible for this program

You're eligible if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

You're also eligible, regardless of household income, if a member of your household meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Meets a participating provider's low-income internet program eligibility requirements
  • Participates in one of the following programs: The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), WIC, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, or Lifeline
  • Participates in one of the following Tribal assistance programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and Tribal Head Start.

You can call 877-384-2575 or visit GetInternet.Gov to determine if you're eligible.

Don't miss out on this money-saving program

Everyday costs continue to rise due to inflation. It can be tough to afford groceries and other household essentials when your budget is already stretched. If you're eligible for this program, be sure to apply. You could get high-speed internet for your family for free.

Here's what you need to do to take part in the program:

  1. Apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program to claim your monthly credit.
  2. Contact a participating internet provider to choose a plan.

If you already have an internet plan with a participating provider, a representative from the company can help you apply.

If you're looking to improve your personal finance situation, this program could help you lower your monthly expenses so your money can go further.

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