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The Pressure Is on to Apply for Federal Internet Assistance

The deadline to sign up for benefits under the Affordable Connectivity Program is looming. Applicants have until Feb. 7 to enroll in the program that is set to expire later this year without legislative action.

A woman uses a laptop to fill out an online application form.
(TNS) — For years, low-income families around the country have gotten help paying their Internet bills through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. As of this month, over 22 million American households are enrolled.

But the program is projected to run out of money by late April unless Congress approves additional funding. For that reason, new applicants have until just next week to sign up for Internet assistance.

The good news: Qualifying households can still apply for Internet assistance until Wednesday, Feb. 7. If approved, they will receive benefits until the program depletes its funds entirely.

Here’s what to know about the program and how to sign up ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline.

Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The nationwide Affordable Connectivity Program, administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides assistance paying Internet bills to families at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.

In most states, including Kansas and Missouri, that means a family of four with an annual income under $60,000 is eligible for the program. You can find the income threshold for households of other sizes on the FCC’s website.

Even if your family makes more than the income threshold, you may still qualify for the program if someone in your household receives some form of government benefits. These can include:

  • Free or reduced school lunches
  • SNAP (food stamps)
  • Federal housing assistance
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Veterans’ pension or survivor benefits

How do I apply ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline?

To apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, go to and follow the instructions to fill out an online application.

In order to apply, you’ll need to provide your email address and some information about where you live as well as proof of income or enrollment in a government benefits program.

If you need help applying, you can email You can also call 877-384-2575 to request a paper copy of the application or get help filling it out.

If accepted, the Affordable Connectivity Program can get you discounts of up to $30 per month, or $75 per month if you live on recognized tribal land. You can also get a $100 discount on a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from a participating company.

Your benefits will continue until the program runs out of funds. Currently, that’s expected to happen around April 24. However, that date is subject to change: If Congress approves additional funding for the program, the end date could be moved back or eliminated for the foreseeable future.

Do you have more questions about government assistance programs serving Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at

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