How the end of affordable internet plans will affect locals

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – What good is the internet if you can’t get it?

The Affordable Connectivity scheme, which has helped people pay for an internet connection for two years, is due to end at the end of April.

Pat Kerrigan of the Oak Hill Collaborative said the program has had such a big impact here that they’ve received a lot of calls from people who have questions about the change.

Two notices have been issued to those receiving help paying their internet bills. The plan starts at $50 per month. Now, it’s $30 per month.

In Trumbull County, 26,300 families have signed up; in Mahanin County, 25,800 people have signed up; and in Columbiana County, 7,500 families have benefited from the program.

“That’s a huge number. That’s the huge impact. There are a lot of people taking advantage of this,” Kerrigan said.

Funding for the program has been exhausted, and Congress has yet to agree to provide more funding.

The Oak Hill Collaborative conducted a survey a few years ago and found that 40% of people in Silicon Valley don’t have home internet because they can’t afford it.

“There are all kinds of things you need a computer for, and without this financial assistance it would be very difficult,” Kerrigan said.

Congress has discussed a bill to provide new funding for ACP, but has not yet passed it.

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