US President Joe Biden has signed a contract with Internet companies in order to lower the price of low-income Americans

US President Joe Biden has signed a contract with Internet companies in order to lower the price of  ...

President Joe Biden of the United States announced on Monday that 20 Internet corporations have agreed to provide a discounted service to low-income Americans, a program that might effectively increase the number of households eligible for free services under the existing federal grant.

The $1 trillion (roughly Rs. 77,37,100crore) infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included $14.2 billion (Rs. 1,09,900crore) funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 (roughly Rs. 2,300) monthly subsidy ($75 roughly Rs.5800 in tribal areas) on Internet service for millions of low-income households.

About 48 million households will receive $30 million monthly plans for 100 megabits per second, or higher speed, service that will fully pay for with the government subsidies if they sign up with one of the providers participating in the program.

During Biden''s White House candidacy and push for an infrastructure bill, he made expanding high-speed internet access in rural and low-income areas a priority. He has repeatedly spoken out about low-income families who struggled with reliable WiFi, so their children may take part in remote education and complete homework assignments early in the coronavirus epidemic.

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According to the White House, 20 internet companies that have agreed to lower their rates for eligible consumers provide services in areas where 80 percent of the US population, including 50 percent of the rural population, live. Currently, participating companies that offer service on tribal lands are paying $75 (roughly Rs.5,800) rates in those areas, the equivalent of a federal government subsidy in those areas.

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On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden were set to meet with telecom executives, members of Congress, and others to discuss the need for low-income households to have access to high-speed internet.

Allo Communications, AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom), Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink), Astound, AT&T, Breezeline, Comcast, Comporium, Frontier, IdeaTek, Cox Communications, Jackson Energy Authority, MediaCom, MLGC, Spectrum (Charter Communications), Starry, Verizon (Fios only), Vermont Telephone Company, Vexus Fiber and Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV.

If their income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, American households may be eligible for subsidies through the Affordable Connectivity Program, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) and the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.

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