As many Americans spent the last two years conducting many of their daily activities online during the pandemic, a broadband connection is more important than ever before. Recently, the White House announced that 10 million consumers had signed up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers government assistance for the purchase of broadband services and computers. This announcement marks an important milestone for this FCC program, and combined with the low-income plans offered by cable internet service providers, will help ensure that more Americans connect to the internet.
Since they began in 2011, broadband adoption programs have expanded to include more and more Americans who could use some help getting online. These programs often now include veterans, those with disabilities, and senior citizens, expanding the reach of these programs beyond families who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
America’s broadband leaders have been and continue to be committed to closing the digital divide, which is why many offer low-cost broadband adoption programs. When combined with the ACP, that means qualifying families can get connected with little to no cost to them, clearing one of the hurdles that unconnected Americans often cite when asked the reason for not being online.
Cable ISPs know that an internet connection is most powerful when users know how to make the most of it. These programs also offer free or reduced cost computer equipment, further reducing the cost barriers to getting connected and utilizing all the internet has to offer. Also, ISPs offer free resources or classes, to ensure that people who are getting connected have the digital literacy skills necessary to use the internet for school, jobs or healthcare.
With low-cost broadband adoption programs, federal benefits, and complimentary digital literacy programs, America’s broadband leaders continue to get more people connected, regardless of income or opportunity. While there is still a long way to go, the cable industry remains committed to doing their part in removing the barriers that stand in the way of those Americans without a broadband connection in their homes.