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Internet providers agree to continue discounted plans through end of 2024 as federal subsidies end

More than a dozen internet service providers have agreed to continue offering discounted internet plans to low-income households through the end of 2024, as the federal program subsidizing the discounts comes to an end, the Biden administration announced Friday. 

AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, and nine other providers will continue offering their $30 or less plans to those currently enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program and other eligible households. 

Other participating providers include Allo Fiber, altafiber (and Hawaiian Telcom), Astound Broadband, IdeaTek, Mediacom, MLGC, Optimum, Starry and Vermont Telephone Company. 

The Affordable Connectivity Program, which provided broadband discounts to more than 23 million households, will halt benefits completely starting Saturday due to a lack of funding. 

While some households will maintain their low-cost internet plans under the newly announced agreements with providers, the Biden administration called on Congress once again to pass an additional $6 billion in funding to extend the program. 

“It is regrettable that the Federal Communications Commission must bring to a close the most successful broadband affordability program in our Nation’s history,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a letter to Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) on Thursday. Joyce chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. 

“There continues to be a tremendous need for the ACP and the consistent, reliable benefit it offers to help low-income households in rural, suburban, and urban America get online and stay online,” Rosenworcel added. 

Source: The Hill

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