An internet connection may seem like just another utility for many of us that we pay for along with the rest of our expenses. This service has transformed into a necessity that most people cannot imagine their lives without. If you are looking to explore different plans and offers from all service providers near you, visit BuyTVInternetPhone to get the best deal for your home. However, many low-income families find it hard to pay for the connections. At $60 a month, the average cost of an internet connection is too high for most low-income families to afford.
This guide is meant to help you find some government programs that are aimed to provide assistance to the people in the USA.
Lifeline is a government assistance program—supported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—which offers a discount on either phone or internet bill of a single household. The offer is limited to one discount per household.
If you are a part of any federal assistance program, you may also be eligible for Lifeline program such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. You may also qualify for Lifeline if your income is 135% below federal poverty guidelines.
If you participate in any of these programs, your household will get a monthly discount of $9.25 on the internet or phone bill. In Tribal lands, the discount can be as high as $34.95 per month with the aid of the Enhanced Lifeline program.
Since the offer is only available for a single service, it is advisable to choose the one that is more important for you and your family.
You can find which ISPs offer Lifeline discounts and whether you are eligible for the program by visiting Universal Service Administration Co.
Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)
In May 2021, the FCC brought about the Emergency Broadband Benefit program that eligible people could apply to. If you qualify for the program, each household gets a discount of $50-$75 every month. The program also offers a one-time $100 discount for participating households to use for a new laptop, tablet, or desktop.
Like Lifeline, one discount is limited to a single household for their monthly service and one device. You can qualify for this program if you qualify for:
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income
- Certain Tribal Programs
You also qualify for the program if your income is 135% below Federal Poverty Guidelines. Or if any member of your household takes part in the School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or the USDA Community Eligibility Provision. Or if you received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year. Moreover, you also become eligible if you qualify for a participating ISP’s low-income or COVID-19 program.
This program is expected to end on December 31, 2021. Those enrolled in the program will be given a sixty-day transition period during which they will continue to receive the benefits.
Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has been set up to help low-income families afford an internet connection. According to the program, each qualifying household will be eligible for a $30 monthly discount towards their internet bill and, those in tribal lands will get a monthly discount of $75.
Your household may qualify for the ACP if you or any other member in your household meets one of the following:
- Part of Lifeline, National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or School Breakfast Program (SBP).
- Eligible for some of the ISPs low-income programs
- Recipient of the Pell Grant in the past year
This $14 billion program was created by Congress to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The difference between the two programs are just a few:
- The maximum benefit availed by each household has been reduced from $50 to $30 per month, with no change to the house.
- You can also qualify for the program if you receive WIC benefits or have an income 200% below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Households that qualified for the EBB because of a significant loss of income during the COVID period will have to reapply for the ACP.
The ACP program will begin on December 31, 2021. Those who qualified for EBB can use the sixty-day transition period to reapply for ACP and see if they are eligible for it according to the new terms and conditions.
ConnectHomeUSA is a public-private partnership focused on providing internet services to low-income households. The program is the result of a partnership between the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other private companies. Children of all ages need internet connections for various school activities, and this program focuses on offering them the necessary services.
ConnectHomeUSA is available to residents in all varieties of HUD-assisted housing. Communities will have to fill an online application and wait for a response. As of today, the program is active in almost 80 communities in the country. Additional communities also join regularly to access the resources provided.
Once the communities have joined, they receive special offers and resources from ConnectHomeUSA. They receive technical assistance from the organization and also offer users access to the ConnetHomeUSA portal. In addition, there are monthly webinars and newsletters circulated among the communities as well as Annual summits.
Make Your Choice
You may qualify for any of these programs to help you afford internet service. Before you can avail of the discount, you can browse through some cheap internet service providers near you. So, make sure you research properly to search the query “cheap internet near me” that is also speedy and reliable. Once you have found an ISP, the next step is to check if it offers low-income programs. And if it does, sign up for the one that best fits your needs and budget, and you will be good to go.