Program makes some providers’ internet free to low-income households | Local Govt. and Politics

AT&T said it changed its plan as the federal government’s evolved.

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Its new Access from AT&T plan provides faster internet service, the speed jumping from 10 Mbps in its original plan to 100 Mbps. There is no cap on data use.

The Affordable Connectivity Program represents a discount on broadband services through the service provider, which is reimbursed by the government, according to Broadbandnow.com.

Those who qualify for the program do not receive payments.

Broadband provider Spectrum stated its case for providing internet service to low-income families in a press release, saying its efforts to ensure broadband connectivity have included expansion into unserved and rural areas and its Spectrum Internet Assist low-cost broadband service for eligible families and seniors. It participated in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and looks forward to participating in the newer Affordable Connectivity Program, according to the press release.

Its Spectrum Internet Assist is offered for $17.99 a month. For that it provides 30 Mbps speeds, an no data caps, modem fees or contracts.

Asked specifically about AT&T’s no-cost plan, Spectrum spokesperson Brian Anderson said in an email: “Just as AT&T has its low-cost Access program, we have Spectrum Internet Assist. And just like AT&T participates in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program that can cover all or part of a low-cost customer’s bill, we also participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.”

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