Alicia Jones, a beneficiary of the new subsidies, and Vice President Kamala Harris listen as President Joe Biden delivers remarks Monday on lowering the cost of high-speed internet in the Rose Garden of the White House. AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Internet access is about to become cheaper for a large amount of Americans. Today, the Biden administration announced a new partnership with various broadband providers that will help lower the cost of high-speed internet access. The announcement is part of the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program which helps lower the price of an internet bill up to $75 per month.
According to a fact sheet issued by the White House, 20 different broadband providers are part of the partnership, including Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, and Allo. This helps cover “more than 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas,” according to the White House, “to either increase speeds or cut prices, making sure they all offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30/month.”
Americans eligible for the program include those whose annual household income sits below 200 percent of the poverty line and those part of specific government-run programs, or about 40 percent of all American households. Those eligible will save up to $30 per month on their internet bills, while folks in households on Tribal Lands are eligible for an even larger discount of $75 per month.
“You know, the need for high-speed Internet is — is a little bit like what used to be probably what my grandfather talked about: needing to have a telephone,” President Biden said during the announcement today. “It’s pretty consequential. And it’s only going to keep growing, this need. High-speed Internet is not a luxury any longer, it’s a necessity.”
Obviously, those who enroll in the program will want decent speeds, and that seems to be a priority for the President and his administration. According to the White House, plans that broadband providers offer will need to be at least 100Mbps “everywhere that the provider’s infrastructure is capable of it.” This is generally fast enough for a family of four to use all of their devices at once for things like browsing, streaming, and so on. In addition, the Administration is asking providers to offer these plans without any tacked-on fees or data caps.