Internet bill is about to go up for millions of Americans

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The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which was announced in December 2021, ran out of funding on June 1.

The program was introduced to make the internet affordable for low-income families, ensuring a reliable connection for work, school, health care, and shopping for necessities online.

April was the last fully-funded month of the program and despite efforts by some senators to keep the program funded and running, the program ended on Friday. It was very costly to keep the program running, as it lacked any dedicated revenue source.

The program helped more than 23 million households or 1 in 5 households in America cut down on their internet bills and now that it has ended, it could cause financial problems for 60 million Americans, per CNN.

Households with an income that was at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines were eligible for the program, as were those who met the criteria for a participating carrier’s existing low-income program. Families on assistant programs could also participate.

Under the program, participants could save up to $30 per month on their internet bill, and residents of tribal areas could save up to $75 every month. Additionally, the program also offered a one-time discount of $100 towards the purchase of a computer or tablet.

According to the FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, 68 percent of the participating households had patchy or no connectivity before the program was introduced.

Several options have been outlined for those who were enrolled in ACP. First of all, the FCC runs a program called Lifeline that offers a monthly discount of $9.25 on broadband services.

Some ACP providers including AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, T-Mobile, and Verizon have also announced affordable options and alternatives for those who will be affected by the closure of the program. Some of these companies will continue offering a broadband plan for $30 or less to ACP families.


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