Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers could be without internet soon. Here's what we know.

Everyone uses the internet nowadays. Whether it be to get onto social media, to buy things online, homework, or even for work in general. It's a resource that we all use on an everyday basis. However, over 400,000 Hoosiers could lose internet in May according to numerous government reports, unless something drastic happens soon.

The FCC has a document about their Affordable Connectivity Program which has provided millions with internet access they wouldn't otherwise have. Over the past two years, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has helped 23 million households across the United States access low-cost internet service. The ACP directed benefits of $30/month to qualifying households for internet service. In fact, one in six households in the U.S. is currently enrolled with the ACP. Most of these households are low-income families, seniors, minorities, and veterans. But there's a problem. According to the government's website, the "last fully funded month of the program is April 2024". Sadly, over 400,000 Hoosiers would be affected by this.

Young man having trouble with laptop

The End of the Affordable Connectivity Program?

According to the website Whistle Out, 413,741 Indiana residents will lose their internet service in May if funding does not continue. The ACP needs additional funding or the phase-out process will begin. According to the FCC, if additional funding does not continue past April, those 413,741 Hoosiers will only receive a partial discount in May. Furthermore, if additional funds don't come in before May is over, the program will end and there will be no assistance given.

Credit: Whistle Out


According to Whistle Out:

<p>If you’re currently enrolled in the ACP, you do have options if the program ends. You may still qualify for free internet from other government programs depending on your income and plan options. For example, other federal programs like Lifeline offer internet discounts, but it has a smaller monetary benefit with more restrictive application terms. Generally, your plan would only be free on the least expensive plan options available.</p><p>Your internet provider may also have a low-income program with specific plans. However, the availability of these programs and their requirements are up to the discretion of the providers themselves. It’s generally easier to qualify for discounted plans if you are part of a specific demographic, such as students or seniors.</p>

Unfortunately, many ACP enrollees will simply find themselves needing a cheaper internet plan. Let's hope that those in Indiana who received assistance will be able to maintain their online presence as many depend on it for employment and education, too.

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