Biden admin announces expansion of free high-speed internet to eligible US households

The Biden administration secured commitments from 20 internet providers to increase speeds or cut prices so that tens of millions of eligible U.S. households can receive free high-speed internet, the White House announced on Monday.

The commitments build on the affordable connectivity program (ACP), which was created through the bipartisan infrastructure law and provides eligible families with $30 a month off their internet bills.

The new commitments announced on Monday mean internet providers will increase speeds or cut prices to ensure that all ACP-eligible households receive high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30 per month.

“You may have gotten used slow speeds or maybe you would have to pay some more out of pocket to get the faster that you wanted. That’s why the Biden Harris administration has worked with the private sector to try and fix that,” senior administration officials said.

About 48 million households are eligible for ACP, which is nearly 40 percent of U.S. households. As of February, over 10 million U.S. householders were enrolled in the program.

President Biden and Vice President Harris will announce the reduced high-speed internet costs on Monday as part of their efforts to lower costs for U.S. families, amid high inflation that has plagued Biden’s approval ratings.

“The President is laser focused on doing everything we can to reduce inflation and lower costs for families,” officials said.

Large providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, as well as smaller providers serving rural areas, like Jackson Energy Authority in Tennessee and Comporium in North Carolina, made the commitment to free internet.

Households qualify for ACP based on their income or through their participation in a federal program, like Pell Grants, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income.

The administration will launch Getinternet.gov, which provides information on how to sign up for ACP, and will coordinate with states and cities to spread the word, including through text messages to eligible residents, officials said.

“Affordable high-speed internet can make or break how millions of families can work, learn and participate in the 21st century economy,” they added.

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