Comcast Houston joined KPRC-2 Anchor Khambrel Marshall on Houston Newsmakers Sunday to discuss the positive impacts of the Affordable Connectivity Program, ACP, on the lives of low-income Americans.
The new Affordable Connectivity Program — which is funded by the Federal Communications Commission— gives qualifying households up to a $30 monthly credit towards the cost of internet service ($75 for qualifying households on Tribal lands). After the credit is applied, Comcast Internet Essentials plans are free for qualifying households.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime program by the federal government to help get folks in their homes,” Foti Kallergis, Comcast Houston Sr. Director of External Communications told viewers. “Never in this country have we had something like this before. We’ve had it for vouchers for housing. We’ve had it for food through the SNAP, but never before for the internet.”
Jamila Byrd also joined Marshall and Kallergis on the program. Byrd has been vocal about how the Affordable Connectivity Program has positively changed the dynamic of her family. Byrd struggled during the pandemic to find a reliable internet connection while her kids were virtually learning.
“At first, we had to go to the library, friends and family houses just to use the internet so they can do their work assignments,” Byrd said. “Once we got the internet service, it brought so much family time back into the home. I was just great.”
ACP 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. For more information or to apply for ACP go to Xfinity.com/ACP
Advancing Digital Equity in Houston
Kallergis also highlighted other Comcast programs that are advancing digital equity in the Houston area.
“When we talk about digital equity, we have to approach our communities in different ways,” Kallergis said. ”We want to give folks what they need to be successful in the digital world. Cost is only one barrier for families. We know that there are members in our community who need a computer or need digital skills training to even know how to work a computer. We are taking an equitable approach to this important issue.”
Comcast Houston has several programs that advance digital equity including Internet Essentials, Lift Zones, Comcast Rise and other partnerships with community groups that provide training and free laptops to families.
Lift Zones are WiFi-connected areas in community centers around Houston to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their homework. You can find your nearest Lift Zone by going to https://houston.comcast.com/lift-zones/
Internet Essentials is a Comcast program that offers low-cost high-speed internet plans for qualifying families. Plans start at $9.95/month. Through the program, qualifying households can also buy a computer for $150. You can learn more about Internet Essentials by going to InternetEssentials.com
Comcast RISE is a no-cost business support program that helps small business owners of color who were hit hardest by the pandemic. Comcast RISE offers the following no-cost help: grants, marketing services and technology makeovers. You can learn more about Comcast RISE by going to ComcastRise.com
More Affordable Connectivity Program Coverage