The Marion School District is helping spread the word about a new long-term benefit program that will help lower the cost of broadband internet service for families approved for free and reduced-priced meals and other eligible households struggling to afford internet service.
The $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program, offered through the Federal Communications Commission, provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $100 per household toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet.
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline
- Participates in one of several tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.
Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment opened on December 31, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or by going to AffordableConnectivity.gov to submit an online application or print a mail-in application and contacting their preferred participating broadband provider and selecting a plan. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (central time) any day of the week.