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Cut costs, not your connection:

How to get home internet for less

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A happy family browsing the internet together.

If you’re struggling with access to reliable and affordable wireless home internet, you’re not alone. In fact, more than 20% of Americans living in rural areas and nearly 30% of Americans living in Tribal lands lack internet access, compared to only 1.5% of those living in urban areas. To make matters worse, the average American shells out about $75 each month for internet service, with over a third saying that cost is one of the biggest hurdles in getting their hands on home internet.

As internet usage increases, the United States faces even more of a nationwide digital divide, but federal government agencies stepped in to help bridge the gap. In December 2021, the FCC launched a $14 billion initiative to provide people across the United States with affordable internet access through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Eligible participants can receive up to a $30 discount per month on fixed or wireless internet access, or up to $75 per month on Tribal lands.

So far, the program has provided discount internet service to more than 23 million households across the country.

**Update: 2/6/2024 The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is running out of funds. The FCC expects that in the spring, the ACP benefit could expire if the government does not extend the program. Over the upcoming months, carriers will update customers about any program changes and service options.

Here’s how it works:

  • Find out if you qualify through your household income and participation in government assisted programs by visiting fcc.gov/acp
  • If you qualify, apply for discounted service by visiting getinternet.gov/apply. If you’re unable to apply online, print the application or call (877) 384-2575 to have one mailed to your home address.
  • Once approved, select an internet provider. Metro by T-Mobile is one provider helping bring awareness to the program. In fact, a recent study found that half of eligible households are unaware of the program’s existence or didn’t know anything about it.

If you’re not eligible for ACP, there are other ways to save a few dollars when shopping around for home internet.

  • Take Advantage of Free Trials: Some internet providers offer free trials or money-back guarantees to test out their internet in your home for a certain timeframe.
  • Bundle Services: Check what other services you can bundle to save, like your phone plan, cable television and more.
  • Autopay Discounts: Wireless companies often offer discounts for those accounts that sign up for autopay billing.
  • Internet Connection Type: The type of internet you purchase matters. Fiber and traditional broadband connected through a cable in the wall tends to be more expensive than 5G wireless internet services that use a wireless connection.

Staying plugged into our increasingly digital world on your terms and budget is totally achievable! Get savvy with your shopping and cash in on initiatives and perks to keep your wallet happy while staying connected.

Source: FCC 2020 Broadband Deployment Report

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