FRESNO COUNTY – A local internet service provider (ISP) recently joined a program sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide discount internet service to eligible households in the county.
In November, Fresno-based unWired Broadband (unWired) announced it has joined the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). According to an unWired press release, ACP provides discounts of up to $30 per month for households that qualify.
On its website, the FCC describes ACP as a “benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.”
“At unWired, we are committed to bridging the digital divide in underserved communities across Central and Northern California,” unWired CEO Peter Sorensen said in the release. “We are proud to be part of the Affordable Connectivity Program and look forward to continuing to service our customers with the highest quality of service and support.”
According to the FCC, a household is eligible for ACP is a household member meets at least one of the following:
- Income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
- The individual participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, or receives Section 8 vouchers or benefits other government housing assistance programs;
- Receives Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits;
- Receives free or reduced-price lunch; or
- Received a Pell in the current award year.
Households on qualifying Tribal lands are eligible if a household member receives any of the above-mentioned benefits or any of the following:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance;
- Head Start (only households meeting the income qualifying standard);
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF); or
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
According to the unWired release, if or when ACP ends or if a household no longer qualifies, program subscribers would be subject to unWired’s regular rates. The program is non-transferable and is limited to one monthly internet discount.
The company describes itself as the leading ISP for underserved areas in Central and Northern California. Founded in 2003, unWired’s network covers 17,000 square miles with 180 tower sites. The company boasts a workforce of 170 employees. The company says it caters to communities that have been ignored by cable and fiber internet providers.