The White House is asking Congress to allocate $6 billion in additional funding to keep its program to provide low-cost high-speed internet going through next year, according to Reuters.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers eligible consumers access to discounted internet service at $30 a month, is set to run out of money by March. The additional funding would keep the program going through December 2024.
The ACP, which took over from a pandemic-era program to offer discounted internet access, continues to be a lifeline for 21 million American households. The pandemic showed us that online access at home is critical for work, school and just to be a part of our increasingly digital society, and being able to afford it is a hurdle for many.
The program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission. The White House is seeking quick approval for the funding by Congress in order to avoid any interruptions.
A spokesman for the White House couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The carriers have previously called for Congress to extend the program with additional funding.
Here are the ways to qualify for the ACP:
- Income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines – $27,180 for an individual or $55,500 for a family of four
- Enrolled in other government assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension/Survivors Benefits, reduced school lunch programs, Federal Pell Grant recipients, LifeLine, and select Tribal assistant programs
- Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s low-income internet program