Government Internet Assistance Programs
The Internet has become the solution to everything, and people depend on it for basic things like ordering food and clothing. It has become a necessity more than a luxury, and most jobs depend on it.
However, some families and individuals can’t afford to pay for internet charges, but it does not mean they don’t need the internet. They have to sacrifice something for the sake of getting an internet connection.
It is not right to sacrifice one thing for the other, and that’s where you can look for help, and government-backed internet assistance programs can help you.
Let’s talk about two major Internet assistance programs created to provide affordable Internet services to the needy.
Government Internet Assistance Program Options
1. Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
It is a Federal Communications Commission program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This program helped households in their jobs and students attending virtual classes and critical healthcare services.
Under this program, households can get a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband internet expenses. Households living on qualifying tribal lands can get a discount of $75 per month.
Eligibility Requirements for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a household:
- Has a household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Have been approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program.
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the award year.
- Incurred a substantial loss of income due to job loss.
- Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or Covid-19 program.
2. Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is the latest program started by the US Congress to help the ones in need.
It is a government-backed program with the main objective of providing affordable internet connections to the needy, including educational institutions, medical institutions, low-income households, and individuals.
This program is created to replace the existing Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. You can say it is the updated version of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
Under this program, a discount of up to $30 per month towards broadband internet expenses and $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands is given.
Eligibility Requirements for the Affordable Connectivity Program:
- Have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Has received a Pell Grant in the current year.
- Have to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program even if you are qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
How to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
To apply for the affordable connectivity program, you must submit your application online at www.affordableconnectivity.gov. Always take a printout of your application to be on the safe side.
You can contact your preferred participating provider to choose a plan and get a discount applied to your bill.
Which Internet Service Providers are Participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
If you want to know which internet service providers are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The answer is that various internet providers are participating in the program, including landline and wireless internet services.
Lifeline is another government-backed program that provides discounts on the monthly phone or internet connections for low-income families.
Under this program, eligible subscribers are given a minimum discount of $9.25 per month on a landline or wireless phone service, broadband, or bundled services.
Households from Tribal lands get an extra $25, so the total discount for them is $34.25.
Eligibility Requirements for Lifeline Program:
- If the household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- Anyone in the family participates in specific federal assistance programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Tribal Programs for Native Americans, and Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA).
We cannot think of a life without the internet, and it is like food or water to humans. Our lives are quite dependent on the internet to a great extent, whether it is about getting admission to an educational institute or buying groceries.
However, not every individual can afford to buy an internet connection, and they can look for government-backed internet assistance programs.
In this post, you will find information about major government-backed internet assistance programs. Furthermore, a website link at the end of each assistance program’s description is provided to make your job easier.