Could you imagine not being able to go online for an extended period of time? It's 2024. The internet, social media, etc. is a part of our daily lives now. There's really no going back from here.

Kids don't use encyclopedias anymore for school research. They use the internet. We keep in touch with people through social media over calling them on the phone. Most of us even do the majority of our shopping online.

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Internet service is pricey, though. With inflation and the cost of living becoming so high here in the Garden State, some people need a little bit of help affording to have it in their homes.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Affordable Internet for NJ Residents

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a US government initiative created to help low-income households afford internet service. It replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP), which was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide temporary assistance to families struggling with internet costs.

The ACP provides a subsidy of up to $30 per month toward broadband services for eligible households. In addition to the monthly subsidy, it also provides a one-time discount of up to $100 for a device such as a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. It attempts to mend the digital divide by making internet access more affordable for low-income families, thereby enabling them to participate more fully in online education, telehealth services, job searches, and other online activities.

Unfortunately, many people enrolled in that program here in New Jersey could be losing their internet access next month.

The Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program could be ending in NJ

Hundreds of thousands of people may not have access to the internet in May due to a lack of funds to support the ACP. The folks over at demonstrate that over 322,000 residents could possibly be left without a way to connect to the internet if the program isn't fully funded. As it currently stands, NJ residents could be looking at only a partial discount for connection. If the program isn't funded by May's end, the service will be suspended and leave 322,997 people without internet access.

To sustain the program, however, it would cost a pretty penny.

Based on the number of enrolled households, it would cost $7.8 billion to fund the program again at $30/month for 12 months. The cost for California alone to fund its ACP recipients for a year is over $1 billion. Additionally, this price tag is determined based on current enrollees. When the FCC realized that the ACP would run out of funding, it locked out new applicants from joining the program. If applications are reopened, that figure would only increase.

There are a few places that offer pretty low internet plans. You can check those out HERE.

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