“In recent months, my government has been working closely with internet providers. In that case, big companies stepped up — asking them to lower their prices and increase their speed,” Biden said at an event at the White House Rose Garden effort. “As a result, eligible families can now select a participating carrier plan and receive complimentary high-speed Internet in most cases.”
Biden thanked participating providers — including national names like AT&T, Comcast, Frontier, Spectrum and Verizon, as well as local providers like Jackson Energy Authority and Ideatek. The President said participating providers cover about 80% of the US population.
He also launched the initiative as part of his broader effort to fight inflation.
“The bottom line is this — my top priority is fighting inflation and bringing families down prices on things they need,” the president told lawmakers and leaders in the Garden. “Today’s announcement will give millions of families… a little more breathing room to help them pay their bills. We’ve worked with Democrats and Republicans, with businesses and nonprofits to make this happen, and we will continue to work to fight inflation and bring down the costs of every American family and many other things.”
To qualify for program benefits, a member of a given household must meet certain low-income thresholds or participate in one of the nation’s assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, Pell Grants or others.
An estimated 11.5 million households have signed up to participate in the ACP to date.
The Biden administration has considered various proposals to close the United States’ digital divide that has existed for years. And early in his presidency, Biden assigned Vice President Kamala Harris to spearhead the White House effort on broadband access. However, the issue has sparked fierce political battles over how much money to spend, where to spend it, and what types of Internet access Americans need to stay competitive in the 21st century.
At the Rose Garden event, Biden called internet access “a necessity” and Harris argued that “in the 21st century, internet access is essential to success.”
“Every person in our country, no matter how much they earn, should be able to afford high-speed Internet and a high-speed Internet plan,” she said.
Participating companies worked voluntarily with the administration, the White House says.
Comcast Cable CEO and President David Watson said in a statement that the program “represents a historic opportunity to close the digital divide by empowering more Americans to get online and engage in our increasingly digital world.” connect to”.
“We have been working on digital justice issues for over a decade and believe this new program will provide even more support to achieve those goals. We are proud to work with our government and community partners to close the digital divide,” Watson wrote.
The 20 providers participating in Monday’s pledge provide coverage for 80% of the country’s population and 50% of the country’s rural population, according to the White House.