Big news from Verizon on bridging the digital divide!
By Donna Epps, Verizon, SVP, Public Policy and Strategic Alliances
Today, Verizon announced that for the first time, we are offering free Internet through our Fios Forward program to customers who qualify for the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). With Fios Forward and ACP, qualifying customers will have access to premium high-speed Internet (with speeds starting at 200 Mbps for downloads and uploads) without data caps, extra fees or router costs, helping them maintain connectivity for virtual learning, remote work, telehealth visits and more. To qualify, a customer should first be approved for ACP and have a Fios Mix & Match plan. Once their service is active and they are approved for ACP, customers should call 1-800-VERIZON to have the Fios Forward discount applied. For additional information visit: www.verizon.com/fiosforward.
Verizon builds the networks that move the world forward. But we recognize that far too many Americans face challenges connecting to those networks. For some, broadband is not available where they live, while others face cost and non-cost barriers to subscribing to broadband. Although broadband prices have gone down over the last five years, over 10 million families have taken advantage of the $30 per month subsidy provided by the ACP. While the high demand for the ACP shows the necessity of this important benefit, that even more people are eligible for the program but have yet to sign up makes clear that more work needs to be done to overcome the various non-cost barriers to broadband adoption, such as increasing digital skills training, so that we can get all communities connected.
Our announcement also is part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. The company’s total 2020-2025 responsible business investment is slated to exceed $3 billion.
We are proud to have participated in the Emergency Broadband Benefit and the ACP since the inception of each. But as we say in our credo: “tomorrow we will do better.” Our free Fios Forward offer for low-income families will help close the digital divide and make sure more people benefit from the education, healthcare, economic, and social benefits of broadband.