FCC Affordable Connectivity Program’s $30 discount is real

The Affordable Connectivity Program is not a scam. It is an FCC initiative to provide low-income households with low-cost or free Internet.

Readers Jan and Rebecca turned to VERIFY to ask if an “affordable connectivity program” said to be operated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was legit or a scam.

There is countless ads on social media offering a $30 discount on internet services through the program.

THE QUESTION

Can people really get discounted internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, people really can get discounted internet through the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program. The program offers a $30 per month discount on Internet services, but only low-income households qualify.

WHAT WE FOUND

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an initiative of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that offers discounts on broadband internet and devices to people on low incomes.

The program offers eligible households a discount of up to $30 per month on Internet service and up to $75 per month for households in tribal areas. Eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 when purchasing a laptop, desktop computer or tablet.

Eligible households include those with an income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty line, as well as households with individuals participating in another benefit or assistance program. This includes students receiving state Pell grants, individuals participating in SNAP, individuals receiving Medicaid, families with students receiving free or discounted lunches, families who meet eligibility requirements for their provider’s existing low-income internet program , and households participating in a tribal assistance program.

The AARP says the 200% federal poverty line, currently based on 2021 income, is $27,180 for a single person and $55,500 for a household of four.

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The Biden administration says it has commitments from 20 internet providers, including Comcast, Cox Communications, AT&T and Verizon, to offer AKP-eligible households an internet service plan that costs no more than $30 a month. Combined with the $30 rebate offered under the Affordable Connectivity Program, these households can get free internet service, according to the administration. The White House adds that these plans must offer at least 100Mbps download speeds.

More than 100 million people qualify for the program, according to AARP and Common Sense, a nonprofit organization that shares technology recommendations for families and schools; that’s almost 40% of US households.

As of Aug. 22, 13.3 million homes were enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, according to the Universal Service Administrative Co., the FCC-funded nonprofit that runs the program.

Interested individuals can verify their eligibility and apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program at any time on the Universal Service Administrative Co. website.

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Alley Einstein

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