AT&T has announced that it’s offering a new tier of its low-cost Access from AT&T plan, which lets eligible customers get “up to 100 Mbps of symmetrical speeds” for $30 per month — a big upgrade from where the 10 or 25 megabits per second for $10 per month the plan used to max out. The $30 price-point may seem like a steep increase, but anyone who’s eligible and applies to the Affordable Connectivity Program can get up to $30 off their internet bill, which would essentially make the highest-tier Access plan free.
Of course, the higher speeds are dependent on your address, with AT&T noting on its website that 100 Mbps is only available in limited areas. Your household income will also have to be under a certain amount to be eligible for Access from AT&T plans; for a one-person household, the max income is $25,760, and for a three-person household it’s $43,920. People on certain benefit programs like SNAP are also eligible.
The slower plans aren’t going away
AT&T is keeping its original Access plans around, which have speeds at 10 Mbps or less for $10 or less. They could be an option for people who can’t or don’t want to apply to the ACP and can’t afford $30 each month. Those plans will still have data caps, though.
It’s good to see internet service providers doing these sorts of upgrades — internet needs have only expanded since COVID started, and speeds like 25 Mbps could be very limiting if more than one person needed to use the internet at a time. Early last year, Comcast also increased the speeds of its $10 per month plan, going from 25 Mbps to 50.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.