You guys remember COVID? During that time, we can remember being fully dependent on the internet.

It was more important than ever to be connected in order to complete daily tasks like work and school. Without the internet, so many of us would have been challenged in many circumstances.

And not all families were able to be online, so that's why the federal government came up with funding this thing called the Affordable Connectivity Program, (ACP, if you will).

What is ACP?

It helped eligible homes to get up to a $20 monthly discount on internet service. The FCC also said that the program gave discounts for buying tech devices like laptops, desktops, or iPad and tablets to connect to the internet.

Millions of us benefited from the program. WhistleOut gives us a breakdown of how many people enrolled in this program throughout each state.

California had the highest enrollment at 2.8 million homes connected to the internet through this program.

Why might Mainers lose internet?

Now, the federal fund has run out of money to cover the once-temporary program. The FCC says that unless lawmakers to more into this fund, the $30 discount will stop at the end of April. This is the last fully-funded month.

There might be some exceptions for partial discounts in May, but after that, the program is expected to end completely due to lack of funds.

That is why they are projecting that many people will lose internet within the next couple of months. So, the families that didn't agree to continue their internet service after the ACP ends (or who haven't paid for their service) will lose internet access. And for some others, they will find it hard to continue without the discount.

The website mentions that up to 23 million people could lose internet access. Do you know where Maine ranks in terms of enrollment? We had 97,299 people enrolled, which means just under a hundred thousand Mainers are at risk of losing internet service.

If this situation applies to you, there are other government funded options available, such as Lifeline, which offers a discount. However, it's significantly less than the ACP.

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