In today’s technologically advanced world, we need the internet to do anything. Whether you are going to school, working from home, banking, or visiting your doctor, having access to the internet is not a luxury anymore. It’s a necessity.
However, affording this necessity can be a big problem. Internet providers can charge a small fortune every month. Low-income families are struggling to afford devices like tablets and laptops, let alone the internet service that connects to them.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have options! There are programs available that can help reduce the cost of your internet bill.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Internet should be cheaper and more accessible for everyone in America. That’s why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has started an initiative to do just that.
With the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), approved households can save up to $30 per month on internet access. Those living on eligible indigenous reservations can save up to $75 per month. Participants in the ACP may even be eligible for a free plan through a separate, non-FCC program.
You can also get a one-time credit of up to $100 to purchase a PC, laptop, or tablet. The only requirements are that you cannot pay less than $10 or more than $50 toward the purchase price, so the product needs to be in a very specific price range.
The ACP Protects You
Besides lowering the cost of your internet service and providing you with an opportunity to receive a deeply discounted device, the Affordable Connectivity Program also protects you from discrimination.
We have all made mistakes with our finances. Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid missing payments and owing money. Especially when you are living paycheck to paycheck and an unforeseen emergency strikes, you have to make difficult financial choices.
That’s why the ACP prevents internet service providers from turning you away due to bad credit, debt, or past due balances. They also prevent internet companies from charging you an early termination fee or lowering the quality of your plan when you enroll in the program.
When you participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, you have the freedom to pick your internet service provider and plan or switch companies altogether. The ACP has worked hard to make sure you aren’t forced into financial hardship over your Internet connection.
Am I Eligible?
If you are already receiving government assistance or your household income is under 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, you can qualify to join the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) run by the United States government.
If you or someone in your home already qualifies for government benefits, you should be eligible for the ACP.
So what assistance counts? Government benefits like:
- National School Lunch Program
- National School Breakfast Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Pension
- Survivor Benefits
- Pell Grant
- Tribal Headstart
- BIA General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
What Are the Restrictions?
All good things come with limitations, and the Affordable Connectivity Program is no different. When you qualify for this government program, a few rules are set in place.
The most important is that every home can only receive one internet service discount per month. If you live on separate floors but you are all in the same household, the program will not pay for every plan. You will have to stick to one or pay out of pocket for the others.
These plans also must be fixed broadband services. What does that mean?
No matter what service you choose, it needs to be attached to a certain location, not something that can move around like a vehicle. Fixed broadband services include:
- Fiber Optic
If you are interested in the devices, you need to do some homework. The program itself doesn’t cover computers, laptops, and other devices. That will depend on the internet provider and if they offer discounted devices.
So it is in your best interest to shop around and speak to the internet providers available in your area before committing to a plan. What internet service company you pick could mean the difference between receiving a desktop computer for under $50 or not. And that’s a big deal!
Choose Met Connect for Your Low-Cost Internet Solution
Met Connect has been empowering customers in 41 states since 2018. We offer internet with reduced payment plans and little to no money down through the Affordable Connectivity Program.
If you are eligible for the ACP and want to know if Met Connect services your area, it’s easy to check right now. Just click “Sign Up” in the upper right corner of the screen and type in your zip code. If we take care of your location, you’ll be directed to the registration form.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.