Program will help to lower the cost of broadband for eligible households struggling to afford internet service
SANTA FE – Today, The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) announced it is working to help build customer awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The new long-term benefit helps lower the cost of broadband for eligible households, making the internet more accessible for all New Mexicans.
The $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
“We serve 1,066,409 customers who may qualify to pay less for internet service under the Affordable Connectivity Program,” said David R. Scrase, M.D., cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “We are using every tool in our toolbox to connect New Mexicans to internet access at a more affordable rate, and create awareness about the benefits of this program. Our ultimate goal is to expand equitable access to healthcare to cover our entire state, and access to the internet is an important foundational step.”
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
- Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard) Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.
Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment opened on December 31, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or by (1) going to AffordableConnectivity.gov or GetInternet.gov to submit an online application or print a mail-in application and (2) contacting their preferred participating broadband provider and selecting a plan. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET any day of the week.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Find the outreach toolkit here to help spread the word.
The department wants to ensure our clients of uninterrupted access to the benefits available to them. The easiest way to do this is to make sure contact information is up-to-date on the YesNM website: www.yes.state.nm.us. Users can simply and easily update their address using the chat functionality there. Step-by-step directions on how to update your address are available here. Individuals seeking to apply for or check their SNAP benefits may apply online through www.yes.state.nm.us or by phone at 1-800-283-4465.
We talk, interpret and smile in all languages. We provide written information to our customers in both English and Spanish and interpretation services are available in 58 languages through our provider, CTS Language Link. For our hearing, and speech impaired customers, we utilize Relay New Mexico, a free 24-hour service that ensures equal communication access via the telephone to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled.
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,066,409 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.