New program funds affordable internet access for those in need in Albany

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Accessing reliable and affordable internet is an issue for some communities in and around Albany.

Through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) program, some internet service providers offer a high-speed internet plan for $30 per month or less. If you apply your ACP benefit to one of these plans, you will have no out-of-pocket cost for internet service. Some plans include Comcast, AT&T, and Spectrum to name a few.

While the ACP offers low-cost services through a federal grant, Dougherty County’s Libraries are also helping residents by providing internet 24/7 for free. Officials at the library said they saw the need when the pandemic started back in March.

“Yeah, that COVID-19 shutdown really brought into light a lot of sources that our community needed because we need to be able to work from home from school from home; and that is something that people don’t have in this area. So, the government provided several grant opportunities which we took advantage of to try to get more supplies,” Assistant Director of Dougherty County Libraries Christina Shepherd said.

Dougherty County Libraries are also helping by providing internet 24/7 for free. Some of their services include checking out wifi hotspots (like the one pictured above) for two weeks at a time.(Source: WALB)

It’s important to know that you can check these devices out two weeks at a time, and the internet also works from the parking lot.

“Right now we’re still it’s the whole library system, just not the specific branch. But we are still we’re planning to continue the services even after these grant periods are out. We’ve seen that they’ve just totally been needed in the community, and we wouldn’t want to take that away from them,” said Shepherd.

In other broadband expansion efforts, Albany State University received nearly $3 million in federal grant money from the United States Department of Commerce. The funds will allow ASU to purchase devices, educational software, internet access services, and other IT software and hardware for low-income students.

Albany State University banner (Source: WALB)
Albany State University banner (Source: WALB)

Those interested in learning more information on the program, and/or looking to apply can click here. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can is aimed to help people in three steps.

  • Step 1: Claim Your Program Benefit
  • Step 2: Contact a participating internet service provider to choose an internet plan.
  • Step 3: Submit!

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