AT&T and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have joined forces to bring low-cost Internet service to families living in HUD-assisted housing.
Let’s be realistic here — the low-cost Internet service is starting small. It will begin in just 15 HUD-assisted projects spread across AT&T’s 21 state wireline service area. But it’s a beginning — a great beginning. And it’s in addition to a similar project announced by Comcast a few months ago.
It’s reason for residents of HUD-assisted housing to celebrate.
What you get, what you pay
Households that qualify for Access from AT&T will get the fastest of 3 speed tiers – 10Mbps, 5Mbps or 3Mbps – available at their HUD-assisted housing.
The top level, Internet speeds of 10Mbps and 5Mbps, will cost $10 a month. Speeds of 3Mbps will cost $5 a month. To sweeten the deal a little further, AT&T will waive all installation and internet equipment fees. And to keep Uncle Sam happy, you’ll need to pay an applicable taxes and fees.
How you can qualify
What does it take to qualify? Simple. You qualify if at least one resident in your household participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps. In California, households receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may also qualify.
Of course, there is one other really logical key to qualifying. You must live in HUD-assisted housing in one of the 21 states where AT&T offers wireline home internet service. (After all, AT7t can’t offer it in areas where they don’t do business, right?)
Where it’s available
Executives at AT&T broke out their calculators and estimated that 1.4 million HUD-assisted households living in AT&T’s 21-state wireline service area may qualify to participate in Access from AT&T.
The 30 informational events are open forums for questions about Access from AT&T.
AT&T, HUD, and local housing authorities have scheduled a series of informational events in pilot communities across the country. more events this fall. Here’s where they’ll be held, so watch for announcements in your area:
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma
- Fresno, California
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Macon, Georgia
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Nashville, Tennessee
- New Orleans
- Rockford, Illinois
- San Antonio, Texas
That is where the pilot program will begin, but what are the 21 states in which AT&T will expand Access? Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin.
Politicians speak, blah-blah-blah
AT&T, HUD, and local politicians gathered at a Los Angeles housing project to announce this new effort.
Politically-ambitious HUD Secretary Julián Castro, a man who’s never met a TV camera he didn’t love, said that ConnectHome and Access from AT&T can accomplish more by working together.
“By expanding access to internet, ConnectHome is providing families the tools they need to be competitive in this 21st century global economy,” said Castro while frantically positioning himself so the TV cameras would capture his good side. “Through this new collaboration, HUD and AT&T are taking an important step to narrow the digital divide and ensure opportunity for our nation’s children.”
When Castro was finally pulled away from the TV cameras, AT&T California President Ken McNeely spoke about the impact low-cost Internet can have on needy families.
“High-speed internet increases access to education, healthcare and employment. It’s a key tool for advancing opportunities in all communities,” McNeely said. “Joining with HUD on the ConnectHome program helps us extend low-cost internet service to those who need it most.”
McNeely was then elbowed out of the way by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the only man in America who loves a TV camera more than Castro.
“We are bringing affordable service to residents who need it the most,” Garcetti said. “I am committed to erasing a digital divide that leaves too many people without the tools to learn, find work, or maximize their potential. L.A. will be America’s most connected city, and with help from companies like AT&T, we will continue leading the world in innovation and creativity.”
(OK, we’re kidding about all the elbowing and fighting for TV time. But knowing politicians as we do, it’s probably not far from true.)
How to contact AT&T
To learn more about Access from AT&T and see if you qualify, visit att.com/access. Or call (855) 220-5211 for assistance in English or (855) 220-5225 for assistance in Spanish.