The monthly cost of internet service can be a significant barrier to home broadband adoption. According to the NTIA, “[l]ow-cost broadband service is more readily available in some geographic areas than others. In areas where service costs are high, broadband adoption programs may be able to negotiate discounts for program participants with local service providers, or may pay the provider to cover all or a portion of program participants’ subscriptions.” Improving the affordability of broadband can lead to a significant improvement in broadband adoption, which increases economic activity in communities across the state.
Additionally, a series of federal and private programs offering low-cost broadband services to qualifying customers is already available nationwide. Such programs include the FCC’s Lifeline Program, which provides a $9.25 per month subsidy for the purchase of voice telephone service, including mobile, and broadband (as of December 2, 2016) by low-income households. To receive the benefit of Lifeline, consumers must receive service from a participating provider that is an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC). Unfortunately, many low-income consumers are unaware that these services may be available. Additionally, some ISPs offer subscription programs that offer low-cost broadband service for qualifying low-income households. The following resources provide information on Lifeline as well as the low-cost broadband subscription programs offered by ISPs in Michigan.
Michigan Lifeline Eligibility Database: https://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-16372_17095-343826–,00.html
EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit that creates social and economic opportunity by connecting everyone to the internet. See a list of low-cost broadband service offerings for eligible low-income families at: https://www.everyoneon.org
Access from AT&T: https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/#!/
Spectrum Internet Assist: https://www.spectrum.com/browse/content/spectrum-internet-assist.html
Comcast Internet Essentials: https://www.internetessentials.com/