Affordable Internet Program Open to San Antonio Residents

San Antonio officials are promoting a federally funded program to address the city’s enduring digital divide made more evident by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a government program open to eligible households to secure connectivity.

The program offers a discount of $30 per month on broadband services. In its promotion of the program, the city notes that “several” San Antonio internet service providers offer $30 monthly plans, so residents approved for the program wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket. The CPA is also offering a one-time rebate of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop or tablet computer from a participating vendor.

The digital divide has been an issue since the inception of the internet, but the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparities as families work and learn from home. In a call for investigation, social media accounts for Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office indicate that 17% of students in Texas do not have internet access and 30% do not have adequate learning devices. at home.

The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) previously told MySA that areas of San Antonio that were historically marginalized by racist policies like redlining have continued to lack quality internet access. According to the most recent census data, Bexar County has the lowest percentage of households subscribing to high-speed Internet at 84.2% among major counties in Texas.

San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh addressed disparities in promoting the federal program.

“There is a digital divide in San Antonio, and we want to help close that gap,” he said in a comment. “The City’s goal is for every resident to have full and equal access to digital and communication technologies. The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, with its broadband and device discounts, is a great opportunity for eligible residents and is another tool to help us achieve our goal.

To qualify, a household’s income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines or if a person meets at least one of the criteria listed below.

  • Participates in one of these assistance programs: National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program (including through USDA Community Eligibility Provision), SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) WIC, Veterans pension or Survivor Benefits, or lifeline.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant
  • Meets the criteria for an ISP’s existing Internet program for low-income people.

Residents can find more information and register on the FCC’s website here or by calling 877-384-2575.

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