Connecting households with the federal Affordable Connectivity Program will build on City’s success with PHLConnectED
PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia’s PHLConnectED program announced today its plans to continue connecting residents with affordable internet access by leveraging the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that will provide connections for even more families. Similar to Philadelphia’s PHLConnectED program, the ACP helps U.S. households afford the broadband internet access they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The City is launching an ACP campaign to bring general awareness to the benefit for every Philadelphia household, with or without school-aged children.
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to a $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. When combined with low-cost options, monthly internet subscriptions may even be free for some households. The ACP benefit also provides up to $100 per household toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
Philadelphia households can visit getacp.org/phl or dial 2-1-1 to find out if they are eligible for ACP and determine next steps to apply. Getacp.org/phl offers Spanish and Chinese translation and the 211 hotline operates 24/7 and is available in 150 languages. Support in assessing eligibility and applying to the program is available through the City’s network of Digital Navigators, trusted community members trained to assist with internet adoption, device access, and digital skills-building.
Last year, the City extended PHLConnectED to operate through July 2023. Though sponsored internet service will end at that time, the program will continue in its mission by supporting pre-K-12 families with applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program. This ensures that Philadelphia’s pre-K-12 families will continue to have help accessing free or low-cost internet beyond July 2023.
“PHLConnectED enabled more than 23,100 free internet connections for our families over three years. Now that ACP is in place, we can extend the program’s longevity and evolve it in a way that continues to meet our families’ needs while leveraging federal funds,” said Ashley Pollard, Digital Inclusion Manager for the Office of Innovation and Technology. “The need for internet access didn’t disappear when students returned to the classroom. We’ll continue to partner with the School District of Philadelphia, charter schools, parochial schools, and other local education agencies to ensure their students can access digital schoolwork and homework.”
Thanks to partners like Comcast, Elevate215, the Lenfest Foundation, Neubauer Family Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Fralic Family Fund, Hess Foundation, the School District of Philadelphia, select Philadelphia charter schools, and Independence Mission Schools, PHLConnectED has connected eligible pre-K–12 student households in Philadelphia with access to free, reliable internet service through July 2023. The program has also provided digital skills training and support. As the program’s Coordinating Agent, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey manages the 211 hotline as well as the City’s Digital Navigator network.
To learn more about the program, visit phila.gov/phlconnected.