Chicago Sun Times
A basic human right — the ability to fully participate in modern life via affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service — remains out of reach for many. The Biden administration recently announced it had reached agreements with 20 leading internet providers, covering more than 80 percent of Americans, to provide households eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) high-speed internet plans for no more than $30 a month. But are those that can receive the benefit getting what they need to enroll?
A new analysis by the University of Chicago has revealed vast differences in internet connectivity across Chicago (IL), with some neighborhoods reporting more than one-third of households offline. Researchers are now working to collect their own data to determine how the internet performs across neighborhoods, with the hope of influencing how $65 billion in federal funds to expand broadband access is distributed.
I want to give your readers an update on the latest move by AT&T to push people off the traditional home phone service they have relied upon for decades. This past Sept, we began to field calls from worried landline customers, including seniors on fixed incomes, who were among an estimated 5,300 customers to receive a letter from AT&T with the blunt headline: “Your Lifeline discount ends November 20, 2018.” The letter referred to the federal Lifeline program, which offers a monthly credit of up to $11.75 for qualifying low-income customers.