The Federal Communications Commission has partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help more low-income households get connected to affordable internet.
The partnership aims to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program to those in federally-assisted housing . The FCC and HUD will increase outreach activities to decrease the time it takes to sign up for the program. Starting this week, the agencies will team up to increase enrollment from HUD recipients by holding regional enrollment events nationwide. FCC sign-up stations will soon be available as well.
This is the latest effort in a program that has signed up more than 20 million households. The FCC has formed several partnerships and programs to reach as many eligible residents as possible, including a pilot program called Your Home, Your Internet. The program is a recognition of the critical role that having an internet connection has in living a full life.
HUD Secretary Marcia L. Duge said the partnership strives to close the “digital divide” and provide internet to families who would otherwise be unable to afford service.
“All recipients of HUD assistance are eligible to receive free or reduced cost internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program,” said Fudge. “I personally encourage you to sign up. We are deeply committed to ensuring families and their children have the necessary resources to thrive, and this partnership makes it clear that eligible HUD households can get the financial help they need to equitably access broadband resources.”
The agencies said signing up for the voucher will not affect how much HUD tenants pay for rent. Enrolling in the ACP provides a $30 government-funded discount on internet plans. Tribal residents qualify for $75 off their monthly bill. Eligible households can get a $100 discount on a computer or tablet from participating providers.
“As we’ve seen with the Your Home, Your Internet program, there is a particular nexus between housing and connectivity: if we can help a family secure housing, we should be able to help them secure an internet connection as well,” said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. “With better coordination between HUD and the FCC, we will get closer to ensuring that the millions of eligible households receiving federal housing assistance have the opportunity to enroll in ACP and get connected.”