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Low-income families can get $30 a month for internet, and a new ad campaign is spreading the word

Last November, low-income families received more funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law to connect to the internet.

The program set aside $65 billion dollars to allow families access. The program gives families a $30 monthly credit toward purchasing internet. That number increases to $75 a month on tribal lands. Families can also receive a $100 one-time credit for the purchase of a computer or tablet.

Eligible households must have an income that is less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

In Arizona, that is about $55,000 or below for a family of four. Families can also qualify if they are on food stamps, Pell grants, and people on Medicaid. Even with all the qualifications, there is an estimated 1.1 million households eligible for the program. So far only, 305,000 households are enrolled. That is about a third of eligible households.

Ilana Lowery of the advocacy group Common Sense Media says more people are eligible than they think. She says, “A lot of the people who are not documented feel like they automatically cannot be eligible for this benefit and that is just not the case. So as long as they have these other identifications or other eligibility letters that show they are on these programs, they can apply for the ACP.”

Lowery says $30 may not seem like a lot, but it makes an impact with a period of high prices.

“In an economy right now where there is a lot of inflation, prices are going up $30 can be half of a grocery bill, it can be a tank of gas, really look at the benefit and what it can do for families,” she said. “You multiply $30 by 12 months, and it's a significant amount of money.”

In order to encourage more signups, a hotline has been set up with Arizona State University to make the application process easier.

For more information visit GetmyInternet.org. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify the income level required to qualify for the program.

Pratham Dalal was an intern at KJZZ in 2022.