The internet has become a huge part of our daily lives. Whether we use it for school, online shopping, job searching, connecting with family, or using our assistive technology (AT), internet access has opened unlimited opportunities for many, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, internet prices are at an all-time high, and in many cases, households have had to cancel their service due to not being able to afford their internet bill. Currently, The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is offering a temporary discount to a household’s internet service.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an FCC program that offers a temporary discount off internet service and a one-time discount off an electronic device. In 2022, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) helped over 270 households apply for low-cost internet, ACP, or both, through the Digital Access Project (DAP).
Households can qualify for ACP if their household income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line or they already receive a Lifeline benefit. Households can also qualify if they or their child or dependent participates in:
- The National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Section 8 housing
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Pell Grant
Eligible households can receive up to a $30/month discount from their internet bill, if the household is on qualifying Tribal Lands the discount can be up to $75 a month, and a one-time discount up to a $100 for an electronic device such as a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.
If your household currently does not have internet service, CFILC staff can help you apply for low-cost internet through the DAP. CFILC has been advocating and assisting Californians with signing up for low-cost internet since 2014. CFILC believes that internet access is a necessity rather than a luxury and is determined to help close the digital divide.
Depending on service availability, DAP staff can assist Californians in signing up for low-cost internet with Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Frontier, or Cox. Low-cost internet service varies from $10-20/month depending on which provider covers your area; with each internet provider requesting unique documents to determine eligibility.
We are determined to help find the best internet offers near you and will assist Californians in signing up for low-cost internet and/or ACP. When people connect to DAP they are provided with information on affordable internet service plans and their availability across the state. Participating individuals are supported through the entire process with the same staff member to ensure that consumers are not upsold by internet providers during the enrollment process.
To connect with the Digital Access Project, take the online DAP Survey, email [email protected], text (916) 259-5505, or call (916) 737-5353 and a staff member will connect with you to see what the best internet offer is for your household.
* The ACP program is set to end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency whichever is sooner.