The city of San Antonio is promoting a federal program that seeks to provide internet services to eligible residents who are without a home internet connection.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, run by the Federal Communications Commission, provides a $30 per month discount toward broadband services. According to a city news release, several San Antonio-area service providers have a $30 per month ACP plan so qualifying customers do not pay anything each month.
A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from a participating provider is available to those who qualify, the release said.
City officials said the ACP is one more tool that helps to address the digital divide where residents are unable to go online and do school homework, pay bills, work from home or apply for jobs because they are missing immediate, accessible internet access.
“The city’s goal is for every resident to have full, equitable access to digital and communications technology. The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, with its discounts for broadband service and a device, is a great opportunity for eligible residents and is another tool to help us reach our goal,” City Manager Erik Walsh said in a statement.
City officials said a local household is eligible for ACP benefits if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a household member meets at least one of the criteria listed below.
- participates in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- is enrolled in Medicaid
- uses federal public housing assistance
- has Supplemental Security Income
- is enrolled in the Women Infant Children program
- has Veterans’ pension or survivor benefits
- uses Lifeline
- has Rreceived a federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program
The city and Bexar County are employing different ways toward reducing the digital gap. On Aug. 9, Bexar County Commissioners Court approved setting aside $25 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to support private/public collaborative efforts to expand affordable internet service.
For more information about the ACP, call 877-384-2575.