Biden admin reaches deal to provide 'free' internet plans for low-income households
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President Joe Biden's administration reached a deal with 20 U.S. internet service providers to provide free internet access to Americans living in low-income areas Monday.
ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others agreed to provide "high-speed" internet access for $30 per month. The Biden administration also announced a federal subsidy for low-income households that will pay up to $30 for internet access, effectively making the plan free for qualifying households.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 3: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris laughs after answering a question from the press after speaking during an event on high-speed internet access in the South Court Auditorium at the White House complex on June 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Americans can apply for access to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at a new government website that launched Monday.
Americans qualify for the program if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. They can also qualify if a member of their household uses any of a number of other federal programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP food stamps, or a veterans pension, according to the White House.
The ACP plan allows for download speeds of 100 Megabits per second, but qualifies that those speeds will only be available where "the provider’s infrastructure is capable of it."
"The Biden-Harris Administration is grateful for the efforts of these companies, and encourages additional internet service providers to join this effort to close the digital divide by offering high-speed, low-cost plans," the White House said in a statement.