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Published: Feb 17, 2022 8 min read
Image of a router and a person in the background using a computer
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A federal program that helps pay internet bills for millions of Americans is now available to a much bigger group of people. At the same time, the program is becoming less generous, with the monthly broadband subsidy dropping from $50 to $30 for the vast majority of those eligible.

As part of the Biden administration’s stimulus package from March 2021, the federal government has been providing nearly 9 million low-income households a monthly subsidy of $50 to cover the cost of high-speed internet. The original program, called the Emergency Broadband Benefit, stopped accepting new applicants in December 2021.

If you are were already enrolled, you’ll receive the same discount until March 1. The new discount internet program taking the place of the Emergency Broadband Benefit is already up and running. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) launched Dec. 31, 2021, as a long-term extension of the original stimulus benefit.

While the new program is ultimately available to more Americans, the main subsidy is now $30 for most folks. In addition to the monthly subsidy, the ACP provides a one-time stipend of up to $100 to use for the purchase of computers and tablets.

The ACP was enacted as part of the sprawling bipartisan infrastructure package, and recently, the White House has been championing the program as an “historic accomplishment” while reminding Americans to apply.

“Thanks to the Affordable Connectivity Program, one in four American households are now eligible to receive a discount on their monthly internet bill,” said Vice President Kamala Harris in a Feb. 14 speech, highlighting that the new program has already enrolled 10 million households.

Here’s what else you should know about the government’s new broadband affordability program.