State Corporation Commission spotlights program offering internet discounts for low-income residents

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Residents already participating in a number of federal assistance programs may be eligible for a new program designed to help low-income Virginians bridge the digital divide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on the advent of remote work, schooling and health care, and that’s brought an increased need for all Virginians to stay digitally connected.

That’s why the State Corporation Commission is partnering with the Federal Communications Commission, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates to put on National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week.

The week runs Sept. 13-17, and it’s an initiative to get eligible residents broadband internet at an affordable price. A discount of $9.25 will be applied for broadband service, and the discount will be $7.25 on voice service.

To be eligible, you must meet certain income requirements or participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or the Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.

To see if you qualify, go to the National Verifier website. Not all companies are required to offer Lifeline service, so you’ll want to contact the companies you want service from to see if they take part. You can also call 1-800-234-9473.

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