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Internet Providers Promise $30 Service

May 9, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
Internet Providers Promise $30 Service
President Joe Biden speaks at an event on lowering the cost of high-speed internet in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — More than 80% of Americans will have access to high-speed internet plans for $30 or less, President Joe Biden announced Monday.

The partnership with 20 different broadband internet providers “gives families a little more breathing room to pay their bills,” Biden said from the Rose Garden.

This comes as government officials have been working for months with internet companies to roll out the Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives about 40% of American families a $30-a-month subsidy to pay for an internet plan. The program, included in the bipartisan infrastructure law passed last November, also gives $75 subsidies to families on tribal lands.

Twenty internet providers large and small — including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Jackson Energy Authority — have added monthly plans that range from 50- to 100-megabits per second download speeds for $30. Those speeds allow between two and four devices in a home to simultaneously stream 4K video at once, according to Consumer Reports.

Those programs are available to nearly every American, including 50% of people living in rural areas, Biden said.

That means Americans participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program can choose a program completely covered by the subsidies, allowing them free home access to the internet.

Currently 11.5 million families are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program, and about 30 million more families are eligible, Biden said. People using 1,300 different internet service providers across the country can sign up for the subsidy, which will be paid directly to the company, lowering Americans’ monthly bills.

Alicia Jones, a Comcast customer, introduced Biden in the Rose Garden Monday urging people to sign up for the government program that will “change the future of your family, just like it did mine,” she said.

Jones was the recipient of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which was the original subsidy program started earlier in the pandemic. While the pandemic wreaked havoc on her finances, like many others, “the burden of paying for this service (internet) was lifted” because of the subsidy, she said. 

With reliable access to affordable internet through the new program, the mother of two is currently enrolled in an online medical billing and coding program, Jones said. Her oldest son was also able to complete a certification program to be a mental health mentor before he starts college this fall, she said.

At the event, Biden agreed. “[I]t’s going to change people’s lives,” he said.

Working with internet service providers to lower costs of programs is only one part of broadband expansion, he said. There’s also $65 billion being used to pay for building internet infrastructure around the country included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“Big business stepped up,” Biden said, thanking the companies that lowered their prices.

More information on eligibility and the companies providing $30 broadband service can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/getinternet.

Madeline can be reached at maddie@thewellnews.com and @MadelineHughes

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