Free Internet Program for Low-Income Families Launched
May 18, 2023
May 18, 2023
Local internet provider Twin Valley and its subsidiary SKT (hereinafter referred to as Twin Valley) are helping to bridge the digital divide by offering free internet service to low-income individuals and families throughout their rural Kansas service area. Twin Valley is the largest independently owned broadband and communications company in the state. To offer free service, the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a $30 monthly benefit for internet service to qualifying households and Twin Valley’s program provides supplemental financial assistance. According to the State of Kansas, there are more than 438,000 Kansas households eligible for the ACP, yet only 21% of those eligible have enrolled.
“Internet access is no longer a ‘nice to have,’” said Eric Tabor, Twin Valley Chief Customer Officer. “We know that affordable access to broadband creates real opportunities that lead to generational change, and it’s important to us to be at the forefront of that effort.”
ACP-eligible households include families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and/or those who qualify for Lifeline, SNAP, Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch, WIC, and other government-funded programs. Qualifying residents can get Twin Valley’s entry-level internet plan of at least 100 Mbps symmetrical service for free, where available. The 100 Mbps symmetrical speed meets the minimum recommended by the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and is four times faster than the outdated federal minimum of 25/3 Mbps. ACP and Twin Valley financial assistance benefits can be applied to any higher speed tier, making gigabit service more affordable for all.
“The Kansas Office of Broadband Development is thrilled at the efforts of Twin Valley to provide critical broadband service to low-income families at no cost. Bridging the digital divide in Kansas will only be possible with bold steps like this from our private partners,” said KOBD Director Jade Piros de Carvalho.
Twin Valley is partnering with local schools and community organizations to help share about ACP and sign up more Kansans in the program. The company recently partnered with Konza Prairie Community Health Center in Junction City, where 30 Konza employees received ACP training. Twin Valley will also be at Family Fun-N-Fit Day 9 a.m. – noon on Friday, June 2, at Playground Park in Junction City. Other awareness and sign-up events are planned for the coming months.
“We are excited to partner with these community-minded organizations as a part of our Pledge to support meaningful outreach initiatives throughout Kansas,” Tabor said. “We share a common goal of supporting individuals and families in need, and together we can help give them access to job opportunities, education, healthcare, entertainment, and more.”
Twin Valley is seeking additional partnership opportunities with organizations and local events. Interested organizations can fill out the form for more information.