WASHINGTON – Millions of low-income Americans will be able to get high-speed internet service for no more than $30 a month under a partnership the Biden administration has reached with major internet providers.
Twenty internet providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have agreed to increase their internet speeds or cut the price of their services for eligible households, the White House announced Monday.
“High-speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity,” Biden said from the White House Rose Garden.
The announcement is part of the administration’s push to expand access to fast, affordable internet service in rural areas and on tribal lands.
Many families can’t afford access to high-speed internet, so they do without or sacrifice other necessities to help pay for broadband service, Biden said.
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS DON’T HAVE BROADBAND ACCESS:How connected are your neighbors?
BIDEN WANTS TO PROVIDE AMERICANS WITH HIGH-SPEED INTERNET:Here’s why it won’t be easy.
The bipartisan infrastructure law that Congress passed last year allows certain low-income families to receive a $30 monthly benefit or $75 a month on tribal lands to help pay for broadband service. Those who apply that benefit to one of the broadband plans covered under the deal announced Monday will essentially get high-speed internet service at no cost.
The partnership “is going to change people’s lives,” Biden said.
About 48 million households, or nearly 40% of those in the country, are eligible for the broadband benefit. To make sure that eligible families take advantage of the offer, the administration is launching a website (GetInternet.gov) that will provide details about how they can sign up and find participating internet providers in their area.
Households with annual incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, about $27,000 for an individual or $55,000 for a family of four, are eligible for the benefit program. Families also can qualify if they are enrolled in other federal programs, such as Pell Grants, Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.
Follow Michael Collins on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.