ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Discounts on internet services are now available to some New Yorkers. On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new initiative led by the Department of Public Service (DPS) to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
The federal program provides discounts of up to $30 a month on internet services for low-income families, and New Yorkers are eligible based on income. Specifically, a household can receive ACP assistance if its income is 200% or less than the federal poverty guidelines:
|Household Size||New York|
|For each additional person, add:||$9,080|
Households may also be eligible if they participate in other assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, SSI, FPHA, or free and reduced school lunch programs, or if an individual already receives a Lifeline benefit. Hochul also confirmed that DPS will encourage major broadband providers to promote the program and report on their plans as they develop.
Hochul said the program would support over two million low-income families in New York. “The pandemic has shown us how access to reliable broadband is an essential lifeline to keep New Yorkers connected to loved ones and professional opportunities,” she said in a press release. “Internet connectivity for all New Yorkers, including low-income families, helps New Yorkers start a business, find a job, access healthcare, and communicate with loved ones. It is imperative we ensure there is high-speed, reliable broadband for all New Yorkers.”
The Governor’s Office stated that broadband in New York costs over $60 per month on average. The state’s ConnectAll Initiative will aim to provide information on how the ACP can provide discounts on these rates. In addition to the $30 a month assistance, financially eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 to the purchasing price.
DPS plans to directly publicize the federal broadband discount as part of its regular consumer outreach—including nearly 100 consumer events in 2022—and in its statewide broadband mapping initiative. Other New York agencies involved in the broadband outreach initiative include the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Labor.