Recovery Act Internet Program Eligibility


Financial Assistance for Broadband Internet

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Congress budgeted more than 2.5 billion dollars to provide infrastructure development for high-speed Internet access in rural communities. After passage of the Act in 2009, the Federal Communications Commission established the National Broadband Plan with a goal of providing broadband coverage for all Americans.
A program funded through the Department of Agriculture, called the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) offers grants through a program known as the Rural Internet program. The program supports the National Broadband Plan goal of universal access by helping pay the higher costs of Internet access faced by those living in rural areas.
Eligibility for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Assistance

Four requirements are necessary to be eligible for financial assistance to lower the cost of broadband service.
  1. The household must be in a rural area, as defined by the Federal Government. This means that people near each other may not have equal access to the program based on government mapping.
  2. The home must not have any terrestrial access to Internet service like a cable company.
  3. The local community must not have received any funding for infrastructure development from the rural utility service program.
  4. The household must not currently have broadband. Residents may not have cancelled broadband service to seek assistance from the program.
  5. To determine if a household is within an eligible area, residents should contact a broadband Internet service provider and ask about the local Rural Internet Program.
Internet Service Providers

Different Internet service providers have received grants from the Department of Agriculture to provide discounted rates for eligible applicants. The program in most cases pays for installation charges, equipment leases, and discounted monthly data plans. The broadband Internet service provider usually requires a one or two-year contract, and the provider may run a credit check on applicants. Some broadband companies only offer the program in certain states or regions as determined by contracts with the Rural Utilities Service.

Financial Assistance for Broadband Internet

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Congress budgeted more than 2.5 billion dollars to provide infrastructure development for high-speed Internet access in rural communities. After passage of the Act in 2009, the Federal Communications Commission established the National Broadband Plan with a goal of providing broadband coverage for all Americans.
A program funded through the Department of Agriculture, called the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) offers grants through a program known as the Rural Internet program. The program supports the National Broadband Plan goal of universal access by helping pay the higher costs of Internet access faced by those living in rural areas.

Eligibility for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Assistance

Four requirements are necessary to be eligible for financial assistance to lower the cost of broadband service.
The household must be in a rural area, as defined by the Federal Government. This means that people near each other may not have equal access to the program based on government mapping.The home must not have any terrestrial access to Internet service like a cable company.The local community must not have received any funding for infrastructure development from the rural utility service program.The household must not currently have broadband. Residents may not have cancelled broadband service to seek assistance from the program.To determine if a household is within an eligible area, residents should contact a broadband Internet service provider and ask about the local Rural Internet Program.
Internet Service Providers

Different Internet service providers have received grants from the Department of Agriculture to provide discounted rates for eligible applicants. The program in most cases pays for installation charges, equipment leases, and discounted monthly data plans. The broadband Internet service provider usually requires a one or two-year contract, and the provider may run a credit check on applicants. Some broadband companies only offer the program in certain states or regions as determined by contracts with the Rural Utilities Service.

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