Secretary Fudge reiterates commitment to expanding equitable access to affordable broadband coverage in rural, urban, and suburban communities
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today informed more than 4 million HUD-assisted families that receiving benefits from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) does not count as income for determining family rent or impact their eligibility for HUD assistance.
HUD’s announcement comes as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of a “whole-of-government outreach effort” to drive enrollment in the ACP, which will help lower the cost of broadband for eligible households and expand access to reliable services for rural, urban, and suburb and Tribal communities across the country. Households receiving HUD rental assistance qualify for ACP subsidies, but families need to enroll in the program in order to receive the benefit.
“The pandemic has further highlighted a known divide in access to broadband and its importance in daily life,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are deeply committed to ensuring that communities have the necessary resources to thrive, especially when it comes to accessing reliable and affordable broadband coverage. With today’s action, we are making it clear that eligible HUD households can get the financial help they need to equitably access broadband without losing access to critical HUD programs.”
HUD is supporting the Administration’s effort through outreach to HUD partners designed to increase resident participation in the ACP by informing HUD households that ACP does not count as income for determining family rent or impact eligibility for HUD households. Specifically, HUD is:
- Providing more than 3,000 Public Housing Authorities with information about the Affordable Connectivity Program to share with their more than 3 million families;
- Providing over 547 Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities; and
- Providing information about the Affordable Connectivity Program to Project-Based Rental Assistance owners who house more than 1 million families.
As part of its announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration has secured commitments from a set of large and small internet providers to offer high-speed broadband prices at $30 a month or less, enabling tens of millions of low-income households eligible for the ACP to get high-speed internet access at no charge. The Administration has also created a new website—GetInternet.gov—with details on how Americans can sign up for ACP and find participating internet providers in their area. This effort reflects the Administration’s commitment to expanding equitable access to reliable, high-speed, and affordable broadband coverage to all Americans.
The $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program discounts 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. Click here for information on program eligibility.
Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment opened on December 31, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or by (1) going to ACPBenefit.org to submit an online application or print a mail-in application and (2) contacting their preferred participating broadband provider and selecting a plan. Additional information about the Affordable Connectivity Program is available at www.fcc.gov/ACP or by calling 877-384-2575 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET.