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Affordable connectivity program ends

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 900,000 homes in North Carolina will no longer receive discounted internet or computers. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Affordable Connectivity Program helped low-income households access internet through a discount
  • The program expired at the beginning of June due to a lack of funding from Congress
  • More than 900,000 homes in North Carolina are affected by the change

In 2021, Congress set aside $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which helped low-income households access internet. However, the program ended at the beginning of June due a lack of funding from Congress. 

Joyce Alexander was one of the recipients of the ACP. 

She’s thinking about retirement but faces financial hurdles.

“You need to have money to retire, and I don’t quite have a pension plan or a 401K,” Alexander said. 

At her current job, she earns $15 an hour. 

The ACP provided her a $30 discount on her internet bill. The program savings, which helped her with groceries, are now gone. 

She said April was the last month she received the discount. 

“It was tremendous help,” Alexander said. “We are here as taxpayers working as hard as we can, doing whatever we can, and everything is getting ripped away from us.”

The Center for Digital Equity estimates the end of ACP affects 70,000 homes in Mecklenburg County. 

Jeanelle Washington, who was a digital navigator, helped many people sign up for the program, including Alexander. 

“It’s going to have a ripple effect, and it’s not going to be certain populations. It’s going to affect a lot of different people,” Washington said. 

During the unwinding process, Washington helped people find other assistance programs. 

“They are looking at us for guidance as far as what’s next for them, because they are in fear they are going to lose their internet,” Washington said. 

Alexander wants to keep her internet, which she uses as part of her everyday life. 

“I’m going to try, that’s all I can do,” Alexander said. 

She’s considering finding a second job to help cover the extra cost, but she hopes new funding gets approved soon. 

“It’s something nice that the government offered, and I really did appreciate it, and I’m sure a lot of people appreciated it,” Alexander said. 

If you live in Mecklenburg County, you can reach out to 311 in order to get in contact with a digital navigator that can help you explore other low-cost internet options. 

Spectrum was a participant in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The company also offers special plans for low-income homes that qualify and is also offering a free mobile line for one year for ACP recipients.

Spectrum News 1 and Spectrum Internet are both owned by Charter Communications.

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#Affordable #connectivity #program #ends


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