Federal program gives low-income Americans money to buy computers and pay internet bills -- here's how to get it

Kristen Walters

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With the onset of the global health crisis in early 2020, many Americans came to rely on online services for work, schooling, healthcare, and getting essential supplies into their homes. However, for many low-income Americans, high-speed internet access was a luxury that some families just could not afford.

In an effort to provide more low-income Americans with access to online services through high-speed internet, the federal government launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in December 2021.

The ACP program provides low-income Americans with a discount on their internet bill up to $30 per month. If your household is located on Tribal lands, you could be eligible for a monthly discount on internet services of up to $75. The monthly internet service discounts are currently limited to one per household.

The ACP program also provides one-time discounts of up to $100 toward the purchase of a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. However, this benefit is also limited to one device per household.

Households with a combined income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible for the discounts provided by the Affordable Connectivity Program. In addition, you may also qualify if a member of your household receives benefits through another federal assistance program such as SNAP, SSI, WIC, Lifeline, or SNAP, among others. You can go to the ACP program website to see the complete list of qualifying assistance programs.

If you would like to enroll in the ACP program to receive the internet service discount, you can go to ACPBenefit.org to apply. Once you are approved for the benefit, the next step is to contact your preferred participating internet service provider to request to have the discount applied to your bill.

To view the complete list of participating high-speed internet service and connected device providers in each state, go to this page on the Federal Communications Commission (FTC) website.

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