CHICAGO (SCS) — Millions of Americans are enjoying new, affordable high-speed Internet access under the Affordable Connectivity Program created by the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
As CBS’s Debra Alfarone reports, this could bring the monthly internet bill down to zero.
“Broadband internet is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity,” President Joe Biden said.
Bridging the digital divide, Biden announced that 20 internet service providers had agreed to speed up internet service and reduce costs for millions of Americans.
“If you qualify, you’ll get a $30 per month credit on your internet bill, which means for most people, they get along for nothing,” Biden said.
The average cost of a high-speed Internet connection in the United States is $61.07 per month, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, one of the highest in the world.
Providers are now capping costs for eligible Americans at $30 per month, matching the internet service subsidy under the President’s Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Act.
The need for speed has become even more evident during the pandemic, with remote learning and working from home.
“I think it’s vital at this point to make sure all families have that option available to them, so that we don’t back down in terms of what COVID has learned,” said Alex Roosenburg, founder of Capitol Learning Academy.
The president has made expanding high-speed internet access to rural and low-income areas a priority on the campaign trail and in his efforts to push the infrastructure bill through Congress.
Many states and municipalities are working to expand access, which rural residents equate with keeping the lights on.
“In today’s economy, it’s exactly the same,” said Judy Erickson, co-owner of Pleasant Valley Orchard in Minnesota.
Those receiving SNAP, Medicaid or even Pell grants may be eligible, and 11.5 million Americans have already enrolled. To find out if you qualify, go to www.getinternet.gov