Biden says high-speed internet is ‘not a luxury’ but a ‘necessity’ as administrator rolls out new program

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President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday announced an agreement with more than a dozen US internet service providers to provide high-speed internet access to Americans living in low-income areas, stressing that access n is “not a luxury” but a “necessity”. “

Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others have agreed to provide “high-speed” Internet access for $30 per month. The Biden administration also announced a federal subsidy for low-income households on Monday that will pay up to $30 for internet access, making the plan free for eligible households.

BIDEN ADMIN REACHES AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE “FREE” INTERNET PLANS TO LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS

Americans can apply for access to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) on a new government website launched Monday.

The president, during an event at the White House Rose Garden on Monday afternoon, said the internet was “pretty important.”

Broadband internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Biden said. “That’s why the bipartisan infrastructure act included $65 billion to make sure we expand high-speed internet access to every part of the country — urban, suburban, rural, everywhere.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during an event at the White House, October 4, 2021.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The President said the Affordable Connectivity Program “will change people’s lives”.

“I refuse to call it the ACP,” joked the president. “I’m so sick of the acronyms in Washington. I can’t take it, I can’t take it, but I’m going to have to learn it, aren’t I?”

Biden said the program will provide “fast internet, great downloads, uncapped speeds, and no extra cost to millions of American families.”

The president also thanked Vice President Harris for “leading this effort” for the Biden administration.

Harris said the Biden administration earlier this year called on internet service providers to “take action to help people get online.”

“The vendors joining us today have answered that call,” Harris said, stressing that the internet is “critical to success” in the 21st century.

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“Everyone in our country, regardless of income, should be able to afford high-speed internet access and a high-speed internet plan,” Harris said. “That’s why we’re all here together today.”

Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to depart Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 14, 2021.

Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to depart Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 14, 2021.
(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden on Monday thanked internet service providers, calling the deal a “big deal” and saying it’s a “great example of what we can achieve when the federal government and the private sector work together.” together to solve serious problems”.

Americans are eligible for the program if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. They may also be eligible if someone in their household uses one of many other federal programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP food stamps or a veterans pension, according to the White House.

The ACP plan allows download speeds of 100 megabits per second, but specifies that these speeds will only be available where “the provider’s infrastructure is capable of them”.

“The Biden-Harris administration appreciates the efforts of these companies and encourages other internet service providers to join this effort to bridge the digital divide by offering high-speed, low-cost plans,” the House said. White in a press release.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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