Originating in the 1990s, the “Digital Divide” is a term used to articulate the inequity in access to technological tools and networks that provide the fast-paced and abundant resources of knowledge needed to keep up with the advancements of the modern world.
When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, the consequences of the Digital Divide grew as the inequality in access to technology for education was highlighted. Education evolves with technology, under the assumption that the ability to access and navigate technology is widespread.
To address the Digital Divide, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Those in households that are recipients of SNAP and Medicaid, who also maintain an income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, are eligible for the program. The ACP offers a maximum discount of $30 a month for broadband services. For households on Tribal lands, the ACP offers a maximum discount of $75 a month on broadband services. The program also provides a one-time discount of a maximum of $100 on a technological device such as a laptop or tablet. These purchases must be made from a participating provider.
For more information on the Affordable Connectivity Program and the application submission portal, you can visit their website here.