ImOn Communications Offers Free Internet to Eligible Low-Income Homes
By Ted Hearn, Editor of Policyband
Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2023 – Iowa-based ImOn Communications revealed last week that it provides some low-income homes free Internet.
ImOn under CEO Patrice Carroll made the disclosure in an effort to put into context that just a handful of its 43,000 subscribers participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a low-income Internet subsidy program started two years ago.
“We are a participant in the [ACP] with over 500 subscribers benefitting from that program,” Carroll said in an FCC filing last Thursday. “This number, which may appear small to some, masks the fact that in response to the pandemic measures, we began to provide broadband services to low-income households with school-age children free of charge.”
The ACP, a $14.2 billion benefit plan supervised by the FCC, provides $30 monthly discounts for broadband service to eligible low-income households. The program, with more than 20 million enrollees, could run out of money by next April.
Carroll, ImOn’s CEO since the company’s creation in 2007, said ImOn receives $10 per month, per household from local school districts to provide free Internet. “That practice continues today, even though the pandemic is over,” she said.
Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ImOn is a fiber-to-the-premise provider in several markets in eastern and northwestern Iowa, in addition to markets in Nebraska and South Dakota, passing about 135,000 homes.
ImOn was acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 2022.