skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Federal funds drying up to keep internet service on for low-income households

play audio
Play

Tuesday, January 23, 2024   

Low-income households across the United States now face a deadline to sign up for federal funds that give them a break on their monthly internet bills. Poverty-fighting offices in North Dakota hope more families try to stay connected in the short term.

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that February 7 is the last day to enroll in its Affordable Connectivity Program. The initiative provides a monthly discount of up to $30 toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for those on qualifying Tribal lands.

Faith Marthe, director of outreach & technology of Community Action Partnership offices in North Dakota, said her office has assisted with enrollment, and added the organization can be an important boost for the time being.

"Internet connectivity, just [for] a couple of months, is able to connect people to a variety of resources that they can use right away to find employment and to get themselves directed to education," she explained.

But Marthe acknowledged that suddenly losing the aid -- and internet service -- puts many households in a tough position, especially in a rural state such as North Dakota. The FCC projects that funding will run out as early as April. However, there is a bipartisan bill in Congress to renew the aid.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, is a co-sponsor, but it's unclear if the measure can overcome calls from some Republicans to cut spending.

The program also provides discounts for eligible people to purchase certain electronic devices. Marthe said based on their feedback, that component of the effort has been a lifeline for some households.

"I know of a few individuals I've spoken with that have indicated they were able to get a device, which was incredibly helpful because if you have internet but no device, it's very hard to use," she continued.

Marthe's team has helped nearly 100 North Dakotans sign up for the program over the past six months. Meanwhile, nearly 175 municipal leaders from around the country, including Fargo's mayor, have sent a letter to Congress calling for a new round of funding.

Disclosure: Community Action Partnership of North Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

More skin cancers are diagnosed than all other cancers combined and one in five Americans will have some type of skin cancer by age 70. Nebraska is …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021