This is a paid piece from Midco.
Simplified: Midco has helped more than 10,000 people get free or discounted internet service through a federal program aimed at lessening the digital divide. Here's what you need to know.
Why it matters
- Internet access is essential for everything from applying for jobs to signing up kids for school, but for thousands of people in the Sioux Falls community, the cost of internet access creates barriers.
- In 2020, Midco teamed up with the city and provided a donation to help study the digital divide locally. That study found about 15% of Sioux Falls households lack internet access at home.
- The federal government, in recognizing this need nationwide, created a nationwide program in 2020 to offset internet costs for low-income families. Sioux Falls families can access this Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through Midco and may be eligible for free internet services.
"Making people aware is one of the biggest hangups to utilizing the program," Midco Director of Government Relations Andrew Curley said. "There's definitely thousands more people in Midco's territory who are eligible for ACP but are not currently taking advantage of it."
How do I know if I'm eligible?
You may be eligible if your annual income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty line, which is $60,000 for a family of four or just over $29,000 for an individual.
A household may also be eligible if at least one member of the household meets a variety of other criteria, including but not limited to:
- Participating in the free and reduced-price school lunch program,
- Receiving SNAP benefits or Medicaid
- Receiving federal housing assistance
- Or is particiating in assistance programs specific to qualifying Tribal lands.
How does ACP work?
The first step is the application, which you can find here.
Once you've applied, contact Midco and share with them the same information you shared on the ACP application. You'll also be sent a consent form to sign and send back.
If you qualify, once the paperwork is done, you'll see a $30 credit applied to your monthly bill.
- That credit will cover the Midco Internet Basics package entirely, or you can apply the credit to offset the cost of a different package.
What if I need help along the way?
Midco has got your back.
You can find a step-by-step guide to applying here.
If your preferred language is Spanish, you can get help by calling 1-800-888-1300.
"At Midco, we strive to be a force for good in the communities we serve, and this is just one of those ways that we're doing the right thing for the community," Curley said.