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Help available for broadband access

Audio Articles on Hometown Focus is sponsored by Rock Ridge Public Schools.

Paul Bunyan Communications has announced it is working to help build awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The new longterm benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households struggling to afford internet service.

The $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of these criteria:

• Has an income that is at or below 200
percent 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 (only households meeting the relevant
income qualifying standard) Tribal TANF, or
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; • 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;
• Received a Federal Pell Grant during the
current award year; or
• Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or by first going to www.acpbenefit.org to submit an online application or print a mail-in application, and then contacting their preferred participating broadband provider and selecting a plan. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/ACP.

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