Tracy Wirtz, Manager of Public/Media Relations for Cox, joined Discover Lafayette to talk about Cox’s participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program which can save money on eligible consumers’ internet bills.
In November 2021, Congress passed an infrastructure bill creating the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which directed $14.2 billion to help low-income consumers connect to high-speed Internet. Eligible households with active internet service with Cox will receive up to $30 off their monthly bill for their internet service and equipment (or up to $75 if they live in a tribal area).
A household may qualify if they have Cox Connect2Compete Internet or Lifeline Phone plus Internet.
A household may also qualify if they are enrolled in other eligible government assistance programs, including:
- Free or reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Head Start
- Pell Grant recipient for the current academic year
- Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
o Any of the programs listed above
o Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
o Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
o Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
o Tribal Head Start (for those who meet the Head Start income qualifying standard)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
- Proof income is 200% or less than federal poverty guidelines (three consecutive pay stubs or a tax return). Note: 200% of federal poverty guidelines is approximately $53,000 for a family of four. You can look up the income maximum for your household at https://www.lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/federal-poverty-guidelines/
To determine if you are eligible, visit https://www.cox.com/residential/internet/affordable-connectivity-program.html You may be asked to verify your identity using your mobile phone number and your date of birth or by uploading your driver’s license, state ID card, or passport. You may also need to provide documentation of income, unemployment status, or participation in one of the government assistance programs listed above.
Cox is also participating in PCs for People where eligible households which do not have a computer can receive a one-time discount of $100 on refurbished laptops or desktop computers (while supplies last). Cell phones are not included in this offer as the intent is to assist people in getting a keyboard for work or school activities and reach their full potential through digital technology.
Tracy joined Cox a year ago after spending more than three decades in radio and television broadcasting, most notably on KATC TV3 and KLFY TV10. She focuses on community relations, media relations, employee engagement, and charitable giving opportunities for Cox.
Tracy Wirtz is well-known in our community, having worked in television and radio for over 30 years. She started working for Cox on August 23, 2021, and the following weekend, Hurricane Ida hit. As a broadcaster experienced in crisis communication, she understands that people need information. “They’re asking, what now? Working on the other side, in this space, has been invigorating and eye-opening.”
Cox Enterprises is a fourth-generation family-owned company started in 1898 by James M. Cox. Through its major divisions, Cox Communications and Cox Automotive, they are leaders in the communications and automotive industries with national brands including Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, and Cox Homelife.