Technological advancement has given us some of the most innovative inventions of all time. One of them is the internet. It’s impossible to live without high-speed internet in this digital era. We are awfully reliant on the power of this particular invention for our daily work-related and personal tasks—for there is hardly an objective that is achieved without the apps on our smartphones or without connecting our PCs and laptops to the World Wide Web.
Whether it’s purchasing a new dress, searching for good restaurants nearby or ordering take-away, staying in touch with family or friends, booking a flight ticket, or shopping for groceries, the internet helps us accomplish every task no matter how mundane. And, that is why the loss of internet connectivity in today’s time is powerful enough to send us into panic mode. It’s almost like we’ve time-traveled back to the Stone Age.
Imagine how hindered students and unemployed adults from low-income households must feel without access to the internet in this age and time. Students face more hurdles and troubles over the smallest of issues related to learning because they can’t access Google and online learning resources for help.
Unemployed adults striving to find a stable job have to rely on newspapers and job centers instead of being able to explore online opportunities during their job hunt. Senior citizens lose contact with the family when they could easily video chat if only they had access to high-speed internet.
Needless to say access to the internet is now necessary to partake in the modern way of life. But, unfortunately, a significant chunk of the U.S. population is still deprived of this brilliant source of information, knowledge, and more. Recognizing this digital divide, many nationwide internet service providers have been collaborating with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a bid to provide opportunities for low-income households. These ISP programs run more or less on the lines of the FCC Lifeline Assistance program which gives up to a $9.25 discount to eligible households.
One popular example is AT&T—one of the topmost ISPs in the U.S. industry. AT&T Access program was put forward in 2016 and came at the right time for every American citizen in AT&T service locations who is unable to access this life-changing technology.
Let’s face it. As comfortable and fast-paced, our lives have become with access to the internet, unfortunately, it’s not the same for everyone. Albeit, like water and food the internet has become a basic necessity for sustaining life in the 21st century, and lack of it can easily make anyone turn into a social pariah, millions cannot afford it.
AT&T has been providing reliable, secure, and high-speed internet to American households in their millions—the AT&T internet service spans 21 states. DSL internet from the provider is available to nearly 123 million people, and the fiber optic internet reaches about 36 million in select regions. Along with the internet, AT&T offers plenty of TV entertainment avenues via its satellite TV, IPTV, and streaming services. And, also phone service. In its endeavor to help Americans reap the benefits of technological advancement, AT&T offers affordable internet plans and bundle packages at discounted rates. But, the top internet provider has a long way to go before it comes to take a spot in every American household.
According to the FCC, almost 30 million Americans are deprived of access to the internet. With one of the largest network infrastructures and more than 100 million subscribers in the U.S., there is much that AT&T can contribute towards bridging the digital divide. And, the AT&T Access program intends to do just that—giving the underserved a chance to feel empowered with ready online access to education, healthcare, family, and friends—via a quality service that brings them reliable high-speed internet.
AT&T Access provides a discounted internet service to low-income households that qualify under pre-defined criteria. The program is available to all citizens residing in AT&T’s 21-state wireline footprint.
Depending on network infrastructure you get up to 25 Mbps fast internet for $10. In areas, where the network only allows access to lower speeds, the monthly service charge is also lower. The only thing that may add up to the monthly service charge is any one-time transactional fee, monthly cost recovery surcharge, or taxes.
Based on the speed the AT&T network is able to deliver, subscribers get a monthly data allowance of 150GB to 1TB. There is however a $10 overage fee for every additional 50GB of data used. Eligible families don’t have to worry about the upfront installation cost as AT&T waives that for participating households. In-home Wi-Fi is free of cost, and so is access to the AT&T nationwide Wi-Fi hotspot network.
So, all-in-all you can enjoy high-speed internet at a fixed monthly price, without a contract holding you down!
To be eligible for the subsidized internet service from AT&T, it is a must to check off specific requirements determined by AT&T under the FCC Lifeline Assistance Program. The household must have at least one resident member participating in:
Plus, there must be no outstanding debt with the AT&T internet service within the past six months or under the Access program.
The Access program requires you to verify your eligibility on an annual basis. It’s called recertification. AT&T will update you in advance of your recertification date. If you follow all the required steps by the deadline, you will continue to reap the benefits of the program. But, if you fail to recertify by the specified date or fail to update AT&T with your intent to terminate the service, the ISP will cancel your program discount, and charge you at the prevailing standard rate.
It’s also important to note that only one discounted internet connection is allowed per family/household.
To qualify for the program, you must provide the following documents along with your application.
To prove you’re a SNAP participant you must provide a copy of one of the following:
To prove you qualify based on your eligibility for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must provide a copy of the following:
To prove you’re eligible based on your income threshold, you must provide a copy of the following:
|Number of people in the household||Maximum household income*|
*Add $6,048 for every additional person in the family.
To prove you are eligible based on your participation in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start Programs, you must provide a copy of the following:
There are two ways to apply for the program once you’ve verified your eligibility:
Gather all documents and important information such as the SNAP card, letters, and statements, and upload scanned documents when asked while filling your application on their website.
You can also print the form, fill it out manually, add copies of relevant documents, attach them with your application, and mail it to AT&T. AT&T responds to your application following a review and contacts you within 3-5 business days. You can also check the status of your application here. Please note AT&T retail stores do not process Access program applications.The Bottom Line
Now, that you are aware of all details pertaining to the AT&T Access program, you no longer need to keep thinking to yourself “How do I get AT&T Internet for $10 a month?”. Just get everything you need in order to prove your eligibility, and apply for access to low cost and high-speed internet from one of the top-most providers in the country.
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