Dear Savvy Senior,

I was recently notified that the Affordable Connectivity Program, which subsidized my monthly internet bill, has ended. What are my options for finding affordable home internet services now? I’m 71 years old and live primarily on my Social Security benefits.

– Barely Getting By


Dear Barely,

It’s unfortunate, but without additional funding from Congress, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) ended June 1.

For those who aren’t familiar with this program, the ACP was a government benefit that provided millions of financially eligible households with a discount of up to $30 per month toward their home internet service, or up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

The ACP was initially born out of a pandemic-era program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit in 2021 and replaced six months later by the longer-term ACP when Congress devoted $14.2 billion to the program as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

More than 23 million households were enrolled in the ACP, which significantly helped close the digital divide, as affordability has been the primary barrier that has kept most ACP beneficiaries from getting home internet services.

But funds ran out, and a sharply divided Congress chose not to continue funding the program.


What to Do Now?

A good first step in securing affordable home internet services is to contact your current provider to find out if they offer any other discounts or low-cost services that fit your budget.

If not, you should shop around. The nonprofit organization EveryoneOn ( has a National Offer Locator Tool that can help you find low-income discounted internet services from providers in your area.

Just go to, type in your ZIP code, and answer a few questions regarding your household financial situation so the internet services you’re eligible for can be located.

Some cities and states across the country are also offering their own local versions of the ACP to help low-income households pay their internet. The best way to look for these services is by going to your web browser and searching for “(location) internet resources.”


Check Lifeline Benefit

If you haven’t already done so, you also need to find out if you’re eligible for the Lifeline program.

Unlike the ACP, Lifeline is a permanently funded federal assistance program that provides a $9.25 monthly subsidy that can help pay your home internet, phone, or bundled services (up to $34.25 if you live on Tribal lands). Only one benefit is available per household.

To qualify, your annual household income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, which are $19,683 for one person or $26,622 for two.

You may also qualify if you’re receiving certain types of government benefits, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, public housing assistance, veterans pension, or survivors pension benefit or if you live on federally recognized Tribal lands.

You can apply for Lifeline online at, via mail, or through your internet or phone provider. Or, if you need assistance, call their support line at (800) 234-9473.


Other Options

If you find you aren’t eligible for any of the lower-income services, you may still be able to save on your internet by shopping and comparing.

The best way to do this is at websites like, which provides a list of internet providers in your area, along with pricing and download speeds. Most providers offer plans under $50 monthly, and you can often find additional discounts for things like bundling with a cellphone plan or signing an annual contract. 

Another way to save some money is to buy your own equipment. Most internet service providers charge around $15 per month to rent a modem and router from them. But you can buy your own for as little as $100, which will pay for itself within the first year.


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.

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