AARP Eye Center
AARP Says Affordable, Reliable High-Speed Internet is Essential for Health & Safety of Older Marylanders
Help is available for Maryland residents who are struggling to afford the high-speed internet services they need to stay connected to family members, friends, health care providers, work and so much more. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a $14.2 billion federal program created as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. However, according to the non-profit EducationSuperHighway, just 220,614 of 779,981 eligible Marylanders were enrolled in the program as of April 2023.
To generate awareness of the historic $267 million that Maryland recently received in federal broadband infrastructure funding, and to increase participation in the ACP, AARP Maryland is proud to participate in a statewide publicity and outreach campaign announced by Governor Wes Moore on July 18.
The ACP provides eligible recipients with a monthly discount of up to $30 for high-speed internet services. It also includes a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
“The pandemic showed us that access to high-speed internet is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” says AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg, which serves more than 850,000 members age 50 and older statewide. “AARP fought for the Affordable Connectivity Program because too many Americans do not have access to the affordable, high-speed internet they need to work, attend school, see the doctor and avoid isolation.”
Click HERE to learn more about why high-speed Internet is so important in Maryland.
Maryland residents who are struggling to get by may be eligible to apply for the ACP, including those who:
o Have a household income of less than $25,760 for a single-family household or $43,540 for a couple (at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.)
o Qualify for the Lifeline program or Medicaid, receive SNAP or WIC benefits, Federal Public Housing Assistance or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits.
The ACP modified and extended the existing temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program established as part of COVID-19 relief. More than 8.9 million Americans received support during the EBB’s 8-month tenure, nearly 40% of whom were age 50+.
“The end of many Covid-era relief programs is taking a financial toll on many Maryland families,” says Greenberg. “It is important for Marylanders to review the new ACP program, because some who weren’t previously eligible for the EBB program may be eligible now for the important broadband benefits provided by the ACP.”
AARP Maryland encourages all Americans who are without access to high-speed internet, or struggling to afford it, to look into the Affordable Connectivity Program today:
o Visit aarp.org/ACP for more information
o Call: 1-833-511-0311
o Text INTERNET to 22777
Click HERE for a downloadable fact sheet about applying for ACP in Maryland.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, including nearly 850,000 in Maryland, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.