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Floridians’ Finances Go From Bad to Worse As Federal Internet Subsidy Ends


Say what you will about the Internet sapping people’s productivity and bringing out the worst in everyone, but if people’s devices were to suddenly stop functioning, things would get a lot worse before they got better.  Yes, it’s annoying when old people go on Facebook to share their reactionary views and even more annoying when they call you in the middle of your workday to ask if you received the email forward they sent you about the dangers of a certain fruit or vegetable that is ubiquitous in your diet.  It is even worse when young people take to the Internet to shout loudly about their physical appearance and their self-concept.  There is much more to the Internet, though.  It enables us to work, pay bills, attend virtual medical appointments, and access our lab test results.  Like everything else these days, reliable Internet access puts a major dent in most people’s meager earnings.  For the past two years, the federal government has provided an Internet access subsidy for low-income households, but that program is set to expire this month, adding yet another struggle for struggling American consumers.  If you need to do some fancy math to figure out how you will manage without the Affordable Connectivity Plan, contact a Plantation debt lawyer.

The ACP Was a Lifeline for Seniors and Gig Workers

The Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP), which went into effect in early 2022, aimed to bring Internet connectivity to low-income households.  It provided a subsidy of $30 per month for beneficiaries to use toward their Internet bills.  Beneficiaries could also apply for a one-time stipend of several hundred dollars, which they could use toward the purchase of a laptop computer.

40 percent of the households that received the ACP Internet bill subsidy were in rural areas, and 20 percent of beneficiaries were above the age of 60.  By 2022, tough economic times were affecting everyone, and seniors needed their ACP subsidy to attend telehealth appointments and to communicate with friends and family, just as much as students needed it to complete their assignments, and employees and freelance workers needed it to do their work.

May 2024 is the last month that beneficiaries will receive any money from the ACP, unless, by some miracle, federal lawmakers agree to extend the program.  More likely, millions of households will have an Internet bill that costs $30 more than it did before, and most of us, even those who did not qualify for ACP benefits, do not have $30 of wiggle room in our budget.  This means that many thousands of South Floridians will be revising their budgets this month.  The only way to continue to afford Internet access might be to file for bankruptcy or take out a debt consolidation loan.

Work With a Debt Lawyer About Staying Connected in Lean Times

A South Florida debt lawyer can help you find debt relief so that you can continue to afford necessities.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Plantation, Florida to discuss your case.



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