Broadband internet is increasingly seen as necessary for Americans to stay connected, but only 53% of residents in Tennessee have broadband internet service.
The Communications Workers of America and Microsoft recently launched “Get Connected,” an initiative aiming to boost enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides low-cost broadband service.
A cross-country tour is underway and Misty Robertson, broadband director for the Communications Workers of America, said the program subsidizes internet service for people who are income challenged.
“The Affordable Connectivity Program helps folks that are on things like WIC, Social Security disability, getting Pell Grants, living in a housing authority, or collecting SNAP benefits with their internet cost,” Robertson explained. “It helps them by giving a $30 a month discount off their internet bill.”
Robertson pointed out funding for the broadband expansion comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a $65 billion investment to bring affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the United States. She noted $14.2 billion is allocated to the broadband program.
Robertson noted the Communications Workers of America and Microsoft are partnering for the event because they both believe internet services are essential for all people, and they both promote digital equity, inclusion, and affordability.
“It’s a community event kind of like a resource fair, we’re going to have a few folks come out that are doing some hiring, to kind of do a job fair there in the area, we’ll have some apprenticeship programs,” Robertson outlined.
Photo: closeup of a wireless router and a man using smartphone on living room at home office.