GCI focused on connecting 90,000 eligible households with free or significantly reduced-cost broadband service
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – GCI, Alaska’s telecommunications leader, is encouraging Alaskans to check their eligibility for free or reduced-cost broadband service through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP was launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide an up to $75-per-month subsidy to make connectivity more affordable for low-income households across the nation. More than 90,000 Alaska households are eligible for the program.
Through ACP, Alaskans statewide who qualify will get GCI’s entry-level internet plan for free. Customers may also apply the discount to their monthly internet bill if they upgrade to a higher plan. Customers who use Lifeline, a similar FCC program designed for mobile phone service, are also eligible for the ACP internet subsidy or can opt to use the $75 to upgrade their mobile service.
“GCI wants to ensure all Alaskans have access to affordable broadband. During the pandemic, GCI provided free service and free upgrades to thousands of Alaskans so they could work and learn remotely. We’re thrilled the FCC has launched a new nationwide program because we know what an impact it will have in Alaska. And we want to make sure all qualifying Alaskans take advantage of the ACP,” said GCI Chief Communications Officer Heather Handyside. “While many providers nationwide are applying the subsidy to home internet only, GCI allows customers to apply the ACP to home internet or mobile phone service. That will help us meet the needs of as many Alaskans as possible. With only 1 in 9 qualifying Alaska households currently taking advantage of this program, we’re joining our state and federal lawmakers to help spread the word about ACP.”
Other Customers can apply at www.checklifeline.org using a qualifying program or by income. Examples of qualifying criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC or the Lifeline program;
- Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
- Participates in Tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income program
Current GCI Lifeline customers are eligible for ACP and can opt in.
Qualifying households can also receive a one-time $100 subsidy toward purchasing an ACP-eligible device for online access. For more information about the Affordable Connectivity program, visit https://www.gci.com/internet/affordable-connectivity-program.
The FCC and the White House are expected to soon launch an ACP messaging campaign to help promote the program nationwide.
Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $4 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at http://www.libertybroadband.com.
Disclaimer: The Affordable Connectivity Program enables qualified low-income consumers to receive discounted services. Terms and conditions and other fees may apply. Please note that ACP benefits are non-transferable, and the discount is limited to one monthly internet discount per household. The ACP is an FCC program and when the program ends or the household is no longer eligible, subscribers will be subject to regular rates. The ACP benefit may be applied to any mobile or internet data plan.