Affordable connectivity: Biden announces discounted internet fees for low-income households

President Joe Biden has announced a new initiative that could make the internet free for tens of millions of households.

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The White House said, “High-speed internet service is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity” and one that many people go without because of the high cost of high-speed connectivity.

Right now, lower-income households can get a $30 a month subsidy to pay for internet as part of the Affordable Connectivity Program that was passed by Congress last year as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure package. In tribal areas, the subsidies are $75, The Associated Press reported.

Biden announced on Monday that 20 internet service companies will provide discounted services to those who qualify.

About 48 million households will be eligible for 100 megabits per second or higher-speed service for only $30, meaning that the discount, combined with the stipend, internet access will be free for customers who sign up with the companies that have vowed to give the discounted rate, the AP reported.

Companies that are participating and providing service to tribal lands will charge $75 a month in those areas.

The following companies are participating:

  • Allo Communications
  • AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom)
  • Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink)
  • Astound
  • AT&T
  • Breezeline
  • Comcast
  • Comporium
  • Frontier
  • IdeaTek
  • Cox Communications
  • Jackson Energy Authority
  • MediaCom
  • MLGC
  • Spectrum (Charter Communications)
  • Starry
  • Verizon (Fios only)
  • Vermont Telephone Co.
  • Vexus Fiber
  • Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV

To be eligible, income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or has a family member who participated in programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, the AP reported.

To find out if you qualify, visit GetInternet.gov.