Don’t Cut the Cord on Florida Seniors
For Florida seniors, high-speed internet can provide opportunities to connect with family and friends, see doctors remotely, stream entertainment and shop for necessities. These aren’t just luxuries; they are meaningful practices that can greatly improve seniors’ quality of life. But many seniors live on a fixed income and for some, high-speed internet service can seem out of reach.
Fortunately, there is a program that can help. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a partnership between the federal government and private service providers, is expanding access to low-cost or even free high-speed internet to eligible Florida seniors. But without action from Congress, funding will be exhausted sometime next year, leaving millions of seniors disconnected.
Here’s how the program works: the ACP provides a $30 monthly benefit for internet service, and companies like AT&T offer low-cost programs to those who qualify for the benefit, making the service free.
Seniors can qualify for the program based either on income or participation in other federal assistance programs. Applying and signing up for service is easy. Simply visit getinternet.gov or call the ACP Support Center at 877-384-2575.
Today, more than 1.2 million Florida households have signed up for the ACP, and half of those are adults aged 50+. But many more seniors could be receiving the benefit, as there are approximately 2.35 million additional households in Florida that qualify but are not signed up for the program.
If Congress fails to allocate additional funds to keep this program available, more than 600,000 Florida seniors will be faced with the difficulty of finding a way to pay their internet bill, as they continue to grapple with rising costs across the board due to persisting inflation.
We need to prioritize funding for the ACP to ensure Florida seniors can remain connected. We simply can’t let them be left behind in our digital world.