In New Orleans, more than 30 percent of households lack home internet, and roughly 21 percent do not have a computer. Figures from the FCC show that just under 40,000 eligible households have signed up for the ACP in Orleans Parish, out of an estimated 85,000 eligible households.
The City of New Orleans recently announced a $370,950 grant from the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that will connect households that have fallen behind digitally to low-cost internet access. Funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the award will boost enrollment in the ACP, which provides eligible households a $30 monthly benefit towards.
The award for the City of New Orleans was one of four awards made in Louisiana and part of $66 million in ACP Outreach Grant Program awards made nationwide Two major broadband providers in New Orleans, Cox and AT&T, are both offering $30/month plans that allow ACP-eligible households to access broadband internet at no cost. The $30 per month benefit can also be applied to help defray the cost of a higher internet plan.
With this funding, the City of New Orleans and partner organizations will assist eligible low-income households not currently on a low-income broadband plan to sign up for the ACP. Partners on this campaign include the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, NOLA Ready, New Orleans Public Schools, New Orleans Public Libraries, the New Orleans Health Department, Housing Authority of New Orleans, Resilience Force, Delgado Community College, New Orleans and Company, Second Harvest Food Bank and Feeding Louisiana.
“My administration and our partners are bridging the digital divide in an effort to unleash the power of connectivity for all our residents,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Far too many of our residents currently do not have at-home internet. Now that work, school, healthcare and other essential services are more often remote and online, it is critical that we tackle this important issue collaboratively and equip our residents with the tools they need to succeed. I’m proud that the City is working in tandem with a large team of local, state and non-profit partners to help level the digital playing field and bring all our residents into the 21st century.”
The ACP is a $14.2 billion FCC benefit program that helps ensure that qualifying low-income households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
A household is eligible for the ACP if the household income is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a household member takes part in a wide variety of federal assistance programs, including Pell Grants, SNAP, Medicaid, Free or Reduced-Price School Breakfast or Lunch Program, WIC, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits and Federal Housing Assistance.
New Orleans still has a major digital divide. Over 30 percent of households lack home internet, and roughly 21 percent do not have a computer. Figures from the FCC show that just under 40,000 eligible households have signed up for the ACP in Orleans Parish, out of an estimated 85,000 eligible households.
“The internet is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” said U.S. rep. Troy A. Carter, Sr. “The Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program will help get New Orleans digitally connected and ensure that low-income households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and so much more. We’re seeing real results from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I proudly supported and which made this funding possible.”