ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Discounts on internet services are now available to some New Yorkers.
On Monday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new initiative led by the New York State Department of Public Service which promotes the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal program that provides discounts of up to $30 a month on internet services for low-income families.
New Yorkers are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program based on income. Specifically, a household can receive ACP assistance if its income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty guidelines. A breakdown of the 2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines is included below.
|Household Size||New York|
|For each additional person, add:||$9,080|
Households may also be eligible if they participate in other assistance programs including SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, SSI, FPHA, Free and Reduce-Price School Lunch Programs, or if an individual already receives a Lifeline benefit.
According to Governor Hochul, this program would support over two million low-income families in New York State.
“The pandemic has shown us how access to reliable broadband is an essential lifeline to keep New Yorkers connected to loved ones and professional opportunities,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “Internet connectivity for all New Yorkers, including low-income families, helps New Yorkers start a business, find a job, access healthcare, and communicate with loved ones. It is imperative we ensure there is high-speed, reliable broadband for all New Yorkers.”
The Governor’s Office stated that Broadband in New York costs over $60 per month on average. The state’s ConnectAll Initiative will aim to provide information on how the Affordable Connectivity Program can provide discounts on these rates.
In addition to the $30 a month assistance, financially eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 to the purchasing price.
The DPS plans to directly publicize the federal broadband discount as part of its regular consumer outreach that includes nearly 100 consumer events in 2022, and in its statewide broadband mapping initiative.
Gov. Hochul also confirmed that the Department will encourage major broadband providers to promote the program and report on their plans as they develop, including Charter, Verizon and Altice. These providers collectively serve over 95% of the state’s households, as well as wireless providers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Other New York State agencies involved in the broadband outreach initiative include the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Department of Labor.