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Affordable Connectivity Program Helps Families Pay For Internet

cable modem

The Emergency Broadcast Benefit program that began in May of last year was a temporary reduction on home internet and wireless service for eligible households. On January 1 it officially became the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.The program pays a portion towards the connections needed in the homes of many Columbus City Schools students.

Joe Mancini is a Connectivity Champion Coordinator for the program.

"With the passage of the infrastructure bill that ended at sunset on December 30, the affordable connectivity program took over. That's a $14.2 billion program. So a ton more money was put into it. But they lowered the discount to $30 per month for broadband, " said Mancini.

The original program benefit was $50 per month.

"It's a more permanent program that families can have for long term at $30 per month. It also offers a $100 discount for a device from a provider," said Mancini.

"What we have found in a lot of the urban areas in this state, which is typical of urban areas throughout the country, a lot of them were redlined. Internet service providers aren't providing high-speed internet to certain areas within urban centers," Mancini continued.

With the changes that happened this month residents also have new ways to qualify including if they receive WIC, or have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.