Affordable internet program makes strides in San Antonio
About 150,000 Bexar County households are enrolled in the Federal Communication Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides discounts and subsidies to get more people online.
Driving the news: SA Digital Connects shared the local number after the FCC said last week that more than 20 million households are enrolled nationally. The program launched in December 2021.
Why it matters: Barriers to the internet deepen the digital divide by limiting a resident's work and education opportunities as well as telehealth access.
Zoom in: San Antonio is one of five metros with the highest number of enrollments.
By the numbers: About 130,000 residents lack internet access, per a 2021 study by SA Digital Connects.
How it works: Those who qualify based on income or government assistance programs get $30 off their monthly internet bill. Eligible households also get a one-time $100 subsidy to buy a computer or tablet.
- Residents can get prequalified here. SA Digital Connects is also working with libraries to help people who don't have internet access apply.
What they're saying: Marcie Trevino Ripper, policy and data consultant for SA Digital Connects, credits the high enrollment to a citywide campaign that includes partnerships with the City Council, Bexar County, Family Service, Opportunity Home and Frost Bank.
Between the lines: The national and local totals were released on the heels of a bipartisan call for Congress to extend the ACP in the upcoming government appropriations bill.
Threat level: The ACP is expected to run out of funding by 2024 if no action is taken.
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