News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Guest Opinion: Everyone should have access to reliable internet

I believe that now more than ever everyone needs access to fast, reliable internet, regardless of their zip code and regardless of their income. 

Despite their best efforts to notify people, few seem to know about two federal government programs that can help many Americans get free or reduced cost internet and phone service from their existing providers.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and federal Lifeline Program could save people hundreds of dollars a year on their home internet and phone bills, and I think every single person and family that qualifies should be taking advantage of these programs. 

A family of four making less than $55,500 a year qualifies for ACP. Not all Santiam Canyon area residents who qualify are yet enjoying the benefit from these programs.

ACP helps households afford the broadband services needed for work, school and entertainment. Eligible households receive a discount of up to $30/month toward a qualified internet service, saving those who qualify up to $360/year. 

To look at it another way, since my company, Ziply Fiber, participates in ACP, our ACP Fiber 200 Plan, which includes a router, would be available at no cost.

Another federal program we’re proud to support is called Lifeline, which provides a discount of up to $9.25/month on internet, phone or bundled service, meaning that people could also qualify for this benefit on top of ACP. 

Lifeline is designed to help make sure that people do not have to choose between paying for internet or phone services.

More information on these programs can be found at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/ and https://www.lifelinesupport.org/

Whether someone is currently one of our subscribers or uses another company, it’s important for people to check-in with their provider on the details of which program(s) they participate in and how to apply. 

ACP and Lifeline are great ways for residents to keep more money in their pockets each month.

Harold Zeitz, CEO Ziply Fiber

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