Free broadband service available for eligible New Hanover County residents 

Posted October 12, 2021 at 3:11 pm     Category: Information TechnologyNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County residents in need of in-home internet access have an opportunity to apply for and receive free broadband service based on certain criteria being met.  

The county’s Broadband Assistance Program is available for families who have school-aged children (5-18 years old) and are taking part in at least one of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or Work First.  

This program has been created utilizing around $5 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan. An outline of eligibility and how to apply is included below and can be found here. 

“New Hanover County is working hard to ensure programs developed through American Rescue Plan dollars benefit those who need it most in our community,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “Helping our students and families is at the top of the list because we have to ensure they have reliable access to high-speed internet for school activities and for an effective learning environment at home. Providing this foundational tool and removing the barrier to affordable internet is a key step for our children to succeed.” 

The county is working with AT&T and Spectrum to provide broadband service, and customers will be offered the best service available to them at the time of application. AT&T fiber is currently available and Spectrum services are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks. Service can be provided for up to two years and applicants will be re-evaluated every year to determine if they are eligible to remain in the program.  

How to Apply 

Applying for the program can be completed online, by phone, or through the mail.  

  • To apply via computer or mobile device, visit the county’s AccessHHS customer portal for the application and eligibility details (information is also available in Spanish). Please note that a valid email account is needed to complete the process online. Once your initial application is reviewed by New Hanover County staff, you will be contacted with next steps based on eligibility. 
  • The application can also be printed or a paper copy can be picked up at any New Hanover County Public Library or the Health and Human Services building, and either returned to a New Hanover County employee at that location or mailed to: 

New Hanover County Government
ATTN: Broadband Assistance Program
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 155
Wilmington, NC 28403 

  • For additional assistance or any questions about the Broadband Assistance Program, please call 910-798-7407.  

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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