A Houston mother is one of the millions of low-income Americans who will now be able to get free, fast and reliable Comcast broadband service, thanks to the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) — a federally-funded program that gives eligible households a credit of up to $30 per month towards the cost of broadband service.
Houston Mother Jamila Byrd Gives ‘Inside Look’ at Staying Connected to the Internet During the Pandemic
“When the pandemic first happened, that’s when everything got pretty chaotic,” Jamila Byrd, a Houston mother of two, said. “You don’t really think about how important the Internet is until you don’t have it anymore.”
According to the White House, an estimated 42 million Americans are in the same or similar situation as Byrd; they don’t have access to high-speed internet at home. The hardship, often referred to as the “digital divide”, was exacerbated by the pandemic when families had to virtually learn and work from home.
“We had to go to friends’ houses, my sister’s house, so my kids could do assignments,” Byrd said. “It takes away a lot of time from us being together as a family. It’s tough for everybody.”
The goal of the program is to help low-income households connect and stay connected to high-speed internet for work, school, healthcare and more. Eligible households that enroll in the program get up to a $30 monthly credit ($75 for eligible Tribal land households). Customers can use the monthly credit towards Xfinity Internet and mobile services. Eligible households are those that qualify for programs like the Federal Pell Grant, National School Lunch Program, SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance and other government programs.
“The Affordable Connectivity Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Comcast is proud to actively support,” Houston Regional Vice President of External Affairs Toni Beck said. “As a company and society, it is imperative that we work together to help people connect to the transformative power of the internet both at home and on the go. At Comcast, we’re doing just that.”
In response to the ACP, Comcast introduced a new plan called Internet Essentials Plus that offers twice the download speed – up to 100 Mbps – of the traditional Internet Essentials service, a cable modem and a WiFi router for $29.95 per month. With the $30 ACP credit, Internet Essentials Plus is effectively free for qualifying families. Customers who are looking for home internet and top-rated mobile service can now have both at an affordable price. Internet Essentials customers paying $9.95 per month can add one line of Unlimited Xfinity Mobile ($45 per month) for $24.95 per after applying the ACP credit.
In February, during a White House event, Vice President Kamala Harris, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, and Senior Advisor Mitch Landrieu announced more than 10 million households are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, the nation’s largest-ever broadband affordability program.
Byrd was recently approved for the ACP credit.
“I’m grateful for this program,” Byrd said. “If I had to use one word to describe our household environment right now, it’s unity. It brings us together. It helps us to be able to do the things that we need to do, and then we have more time for family time.”
To learn more about the ACP, eligibility or to apply go to Xfinity.com/acp or call 1-844-389-4681.