The City knows internet access is critical for residents. Internet access is essential for many activities, from schoolwork to job searching to staying healthy.
In the past year, there have been exciting developments to help households get the internet access they need. The City’s Office of Innovation and Technology wants to make sure everyone can remain connected and internet access is available for all.
For more support, call a Digital Navigator helpline. A Digital Navigator can walk you through the options listed below.
PHLConnectED is the City’s initiative to help pre-K–12 families get free access to a fast and reliable internet connection.
Families can dial 2-1-1 to sign up and find out if they’re eligible for PHLConnectED. For language services, press 8.
Through PHLConnectED, you can either get:
- Wired, high-speed internet through Comcast’s Internet Essentials; OR
- T-Mobile wireless hotspots with unlimited data for families who are experiencing housing insecurity and/or cannot be served by Comcast.
You can learn more about PHLConnectED at phila.gov/phlconnected.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Affordable Connectivity Program (previously known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)) is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) benefit program to help all U.S. households access or keep their internet.
Eligible households in Philadelphia can receive:
- A discount of up to $30 per month towards broadband service; and
- A one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if a household contributes between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019–2020 or 2020–2021 school year; Note: All School District of Philadelphia households are eligible under this provision.
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Federal Housing Assistance, or Lifeline;
- Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
To get this benefit start by going to Home – ACP – Universal Service Administrative Company (affordableconnectivity.gov)
A few more important facts about the ACP:
- If you are currently in the Lifeline program, you do not need to apply again for the ACP. You can apply your Lifeline and ACP benefit to the same or to a separate internet service. For example, you can apply your Lifeline benefit to a mobile phone plan and your ACP benefit to a separate home internet plan.
- You will have to verify your identity. You do NOT have to submit a social security card. You can upload other documents, such as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- You can apply using a paper application and submit the required documents by mail.
- You can use this benefit for wired home internet, for a wireless mobile hotspot, or toward a wireless mobile phone plan.
- Not all Internet Service Providers are offering devices. If you need a device, you must get your device and your internet through the same provider.
Read more on the FCC’s Consumer FAQ.
Everyone can help spread the word about the Affordable Connectivity Program. Flyers, factsheets and other promotional materials are available through the ACP Outreach Toolkit. Materials are also available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese-Traditional, Chinese-Simplified, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.