State, providers, towns promote low or no-cost broadband access for low-income households


Delaware officials Monday announced a program to build awareness of a low-cost home Internet program.

On hand for the announcement in Dover was Gov. John Carney, central and southern Delaware city officials, and representatives for Verizon and Comcast.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that lowers or eliminates the cost of broadband service for low-income families. Depending on the income level, free access is available.

The federal broadband benefit funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November 2021 The ACP provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 on their internet bill and a one-time $100 discount toward a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. More than 140,000 Delaware households are estimated to be eligible for the ACP, but only about 32,000 have enrolled.

In partnership with EducationSuperHighway, a national non-profit with a mission to close the broadband affordability gap, the Delaware initiative will build a coalition of local stakeholders and institutions as part of the outreach effort.


The statewide initiative will kick off with c outreach campaigns planned by local leaders in Dover, Georgetown, Milford, Seaford, and Wilmington over the next month, with other cities and towns also pledging to spread awareness.

Comcast has offered Internet Essentials, a lower-cost broadband access program, for several years.

Federal funds have also been used to expand the service areas of Verizon, and Comcast, and Mediacom that do not have a profitable concentration of households.

Delaware has among the highest average Internet speeds in the nation but has a few broadband “deserts.”

The existence of the desert areas became more apparent in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools moved to remote learning that required internet access.

ACP-eligible households include families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and those who qualify for SNAP, Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch, WIC, and other government-funded programs. Combined with commitments by internet service providers to deliver high-speed internet plans for no more than $30 per month, qualifying households may receive high-speed internet at no cost when they sign-up.

“Stable, high-speed internet connection is critical for all Delaware families, students, and businesses. The Affordable Connectivity Program will help ensure everyone has internet access for school, work, health care, and more,” said Carney. “I want to thank all of our partners for working together to boost enrollment in this program”, especially Mayor Christiansen, Mayor West, Mayor Campbell, Mayor Genshaw, and Mayor Purzycki.”

EducationSuperHighway will support statewide awareness efforts by training community leaders and partner organizations and providing outreach materials and tools to help households enroll. The non-profit recently launched, a virtual mobile assistant that simplifies the ACP enrollment process by providing real-time support to help eligible households determine the easiest way to qualify. The mobile website is available in four languages and helps applicants overcome critical barriers in the enrollment process by helping them identify the documents needed when applying and find “free with ACP” broadband plans available at their address. Further information is available at

Cities and towns participating in the Delaware ACP outreach initiative as of March 21 are:

  • Arden
  • Bethel
  • Bowers Beach
  • Cheswold
  • Clayton
  • Delaware City
  • Dover
  • Georgetown
  • Kenton
  • Milford
  • Newark
  • Seaford
  • Smyrna
  • Townsend
  • Wilmington