A key component of the Biden Administration’s $1 trillion US Infrastructure Bill was ensuring that people of all means had access to reliable high-speed internet. Now, twenty internet providers including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have agreed to offer high-speed broadband internet plans for no more than $30 per month via a subsidy, the White House announced.
The ISP’s, which cover 80 percent of the US population, agreed to “either increase speeds or cut prices, making sure they all offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30/month,” The White House wrote. Biden has previously highlighted the challenges not having broadband poses to some families. “Never again should a parent have to sit in their car in a McDonald’s parking lot… so that their child can get access to high-speed Internet to do their homework,” he said in a speech last month.
The subsidy is part of a $65 billion program for expanding broadband primarily through fiber-optic cable installations. $14 billion of that is earmarked for subsidies in the Affordable Connectivity Program aimed at lowering internet costs. It’s available to any families with income 200 percent or less than federal poverty guidelines, or for those who qualify for certain assistance programs.
Some 11.5 million households have signed up for the subsidy, but there are as many as 48 million eligible households. To that end, the administration is launching a site called GetInternet.gov that will provide details on how to sign up. It’s also reaching out to people through federal agencies, partnering with states and cities and collaborating with public interest organizations like the United Way and Goodwill.
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