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ACP Week of Action: #OnlineForAll

Technology has transitioned from a luxury to a necessity in everyone’s daily lives. Through years of work distributing technology to the LGBTQ+ community, LGBT Tech’s PowerOn Program has seen how being connected is vital to our current society. From schoolwork to job searching to access to medical resources, connectivity depends not only on access to technological devices, but also access to high-speed, reliable internet connection. Even though internet connectivity is important as it is, it is still not financially accessible to everyone, especially to disadvantaged and historically underserved communities like the LGBTQ+ community, above all those living in rural or low-income areas.


For this reason, from June 14th to June 22nd, LGBT Tech is joining forces with over 200 schools, libraries, community organizations, internet providers, companies, and elected officials in “Online for All a Week of Action” to bring mass visibility to the Affordable Connectivity Program and close the digital divide.


So, how can internet services become more accessible?


The FCC has a benefits program called the Affordable Connectivity Program that can help reduce the monthly cost of internet service to eligible households by $30 or $75 if on qualifying Tribal lands. According to NerdWallet the average cost of internet services per household in 2022 ranged between $36 - $58 a month, depending on the speed. This discount can not only minimize internet bills, but it could essentially make it free to access reliable internet services for these households. They also offer a one-time discount of $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop, or tablet if the household contributes between $10 - $50 to the total purchase, in order to be able to access their internet service.


Who qualifies to the Affordable Connectivity Program?


A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program;

  • Participates in one of these assistance programs:

    • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.

    • SNAP

    • Medicaid

    • Federal Housing Assistance, including:

      • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)

      • Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/Section 202/ Section 811

      • Public Housing

      • Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians

    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    • WIC

    • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits

    • or Lifeline;

  • Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:

    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance

    • Tribal TANF

    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

    • Tribal Head Start

Why is a program like ACP important to the LGBTQ+ community?


Internet connectivity is essential to the LGBTQ+ community in multiple ways: 80% percent utilize the internet to network, and 81% to access reliable healthcare information. But, as much as the LGBTQ+ community utilizes the internet as a daily resource, it can also be financially inaccessible, especially to those with difficult household situations, emancipated minors, or individuals who experience homelessness. When looking at homeless youth in America, 40% are part of the LGBTQ+ community.


As we increase our use of technological devices and the internet, we also need to ensure that these become accessible to all. The LGBTQ+ community faces constant barriers in their daily lives. The Affordable Connectivity Program could not only close the digital divide, but could alleviate these barriers through accessible connectivity.


Learn more and apply to the ACP at GetInternet.gov


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