(CBS) - President Biden is expanding high speed internet access for millions of American households. It's part of the Affordable Connectivity Program created through the bipartisan infrastructure law. "High speed internet is not a luxury anymore, it's a necessity," President Biden says.
Bridging the digital divide, President Biden announced 20 internet providers have agreed to speed up internet service and lower costs for millions of Americans. "If you qualify, you're gonna get a $30 credit per month toward your internet bill, which for most folks will mean they'll get on for nothing," the president says.
The average cost of a broadband internet connection in the U.S. is $61.07 a month, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. That's among the highest in the world. Providers are now capping costs for qualifying Americans at $30 a month, matching the internet service subsidy in the president's trillion-dollar infrastructure law.
The need for speed became even more apparent during the pandemic with remote learning and work-from-home. "I think it's vital at this point to make sure that all families have that option available to them so that we don't move backwards in terms of what we learned from COVID," says Alex Roosenburg, founder of Capitol Learning Academy
The president made expanding high-speed internet access in rural and low-income areas a priority on the campaign trail and in his push to get the infrastructure bill through Congress.
Many states and municipalities are working to expand access which residents in rural areas liken to keeping the lights on. Those who are receiving SNAP benefits, Medicaid or even Pell Grants may qualify. 11.5 million Americans have already signed up.
To determine eligibility and sign up for the program, you can call 877-384-2575 or go to www.getinternet.gov.