The Affordable Connectivity Program, commonly referred to as the ACP, is a 14.2 billion dollar program created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 31, 2021. This program is designed to help low income consumers afford broadband services and has replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The EBB program gave low income families a discount up to $50 of the monthly internet service rate for broadband services and was offered at the height of the COVID outbreak when many families were forced to rely on home internet services to attend school and work.
The goal of the ACP program is to provide a monthly service discount of the monthly cost for high-speed internet services to low income families, allowing eligible households to enjoy the many benefits of broadband services from the comfort of their homes, without the financial hardship that comes with traditional home internet costs. Eligible families must meet certain criteria to qualify.
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The Affordable Connectivity Program gives households with income that's 200% below the federal government poverty guidelines one discount per household of up $30 each per month toward internet service. Households on tribal land that qualify can receive a discount of up to $75 per month.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) was a low income internet program that was established in early 2021 and designed to help low-income households, as well as families who had lost income due to COVID. The government shuttered the EBB program in 2022, replacing it with the ACP.
The ACP, just like the EBB, helps low income households afford internet services, allowing them to stay connected to essential services and information. These programs are similar in many ways in terms of the goal and eligibility requirements. Since the EBB program was phased out on December 31, 2021, the ACP is another way low-income households can continue to afford home internet services.
The Lifeline program is federally funded and provides a discount of up to $9.25 monthly on broadband services or it can be applied to eligible internet and phone service bundles, for low-income households. Lifeline currently provides a discount of up to $34.25 for qualifying tribal land residents.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a new program that helps low income households afford broadband services, while Lifeline is the FCC’s permanent program that provides low income households with affordable access to communications services, including broadband provider. The ACP and Lifeline benefits can be combined and used at the same time for the same service plan or each program can be applied to a different service. For example, those currently with Lifeline can choose to apply for the ACP and use those benefits toward their existing internet bill, or they can apply the ACP monthly benefit toward a different plan with a different service provider.
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These days, there are many reasons why we need to stay connected to the internet at home. Over the past several years, we’ve changed how we stay in contact with friends and loved ones, how we schedule and meet with our healthcare providers, how we work, and how our children do their homework and research school projects.
Many people still work from home. A major part of working from home is having a reliable, fast, internet connection.
As you may know, many things can change in the world, in just a matter of minutes. When news hits, home internet services allow you to stay current and get the news the moment it’s available. In our daily lives, technology now takes precedence, making it crucial to stay connected.
ACP-eligible households can avoid steep internet costs and enjoy the many benefits that come with home internet access. Aside from avoiding a high internet bill and the ability to work from home, complete school work online, access telehealth services, by signing up with the ACP, you’ll also enjoy:
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) works with a range of internet service providers (ISPs) to provide low-cost internet to low-income households. Some of the major ISPs that participate in the ACP include:
Comcast Xfinity provides affordable internet to low-income families who meet the ACP eligibility criteria.
Cox Communications works with the ACP to provide low-cost internet to qualifying households.
AT&T offers affordable internet to eligible households, including those who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Spectrum provides low-cost internet to eligible households, including seniors and families with students.
Google Fiber offers affordable internet to qualifying households through the ACP.
CenturyLink has partnered with the Affordable Connectivity Program to offer discounted internet to qualifying households.
Mediacom participates in the ACP, offering low-cost internet to qualifying households.
T-Mobile is one of the leading wireless carriers that participates in the ACP, through Assurance Wireless and Metro byT-Mobile.
The Affordable Connectivity program is a legitimate program that aims to provide low-cost internet access to households in need. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working with major internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon to make this service available to those who qualify for it. Households must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the program. These criteria include having an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, being a US citizen or legal resident, and living in a service area covered by one of the participating providers.
The Affordable Connectivity Program works fast. It takes just minutes to get you connected and for your device to start using the Internet. Depending on the type of connection you have, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes for your device to connect to the network. Once that happens, you will be able to access websites, download apps, and use the internet for whatever you need. With this program, you can get connected quickly and easily!
No, the affordable connectivity program is not retroactive. However, customers who have already purchased service plans in the past can benefit from the discounts provided by this program. To take advantage of reduced rates, customers must purchase or renew their services after signing up for this program.
Yes! You can switch your Affordable Connectivity Program benefits at any time. All you have to do is contact your provider and let them know that you would like to switch or update your current plan. This can be done through email, telephone, or even in person with a customer service representative. Depending on the type of plan you are switching to, there may be additional fees involved. Make sure to ask your provider about any further costs associated with switching plans before making the switch.
Yes, Lifeline is designed to give people access to the internet. It can help low-income households connect to fast and reliable broadband services. With the Lifeline program, eligible households can get up to a $9.25 monthly discount on home internet or bundled packages that include voice and/or TV services. This means that those who qualify can get access to affordable internet services and stay connected with friends, family, work, and school.
Yes, T Mobile is a part of the Affordable Connectivity Program! The program provides access to affordable mobile services and devices for low-income households. This includes discounts on monthly plans, data usage, select phone purchases, and more. To take advantage of these offers, customers should check with their local T Mobile store to see what options are available.
No, you do not need to recertify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Your certification is valid as long as you are in compliance with FCC rules and regulations. However, you may choose to recertify if your circumstances change or if there have been changes to the rules and regulations that affect your eligibility. It's always a good idea to stay up-to-date with the latest FCC rules and regulations, so recertifying is a great way to do that.