The Affordable Connectivity Program makes broadband service and connected devices available to eligible low-income households at affordable, discounted rates from providers who participate in the program.
The Commission is taking steps to ensure that the broadband benefit program is effective and efficient by reducing enrollment burdens for eligible households, particularly older adults and those with disabilities. These changes include streamlined enrollment processes and federal data-sharing agreements.
How the Affordable Connectivity Program is Changing Lives
The Affordable Connectivity Program has made broadband connectivity more affordable for families. It’s a $14 billion program launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help to qualify low-income households to stay connected to the Internet for work, school, health care, and more. It replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, which sunset on March 1, 2021.
It’s designed to make broadband service and devices available to eligible low-income households at affordable, discounted prices from providers that choose to participate in the program. The new program provides households a $30 monthly discount on their internet bills or $75 monthly for residents on Tribal lands. It also offers a one-time value of up to $100 on a computer or tablet. However, the Federal Government has recognized that broadband is still unavailable for all Americans.
This is why it has partnered with leading internet providers or companies such as Assist Wireless to offer various affordable options to households that qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Affordable Connectivity Program leverages the National Eligibility Verifier, the National Lifeline Accountability Database, and the Affordable Connectivity Claims System for subscriber eligibility, enrollment, and service provider reimbursement.
It enables households to verify their eligibility using the last four digits of their social security number or other approved identity documentation, reducing the verification time and promoting program integrity.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal program that helps low-income households stay connected to jobs, healthcare, schools, and more. It is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and aims to close the digital divide. The ACP provides a discount of $30 per month on residential or mobile internet service for eligible households and up to $75 for households on Tribal lands.
It also includes a one-time discount of up to $100 for purchasing a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Households can qualify for the ACP if they are low-income and enrolled in a government benefit like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Pell Grant, Free, and Reduced-Price School Lunch, or the USDA Community Eligibility Provision. The FCC administers the program on behalf of Congress.
A participating provider must be approved to offer ACP-supported services by the Commission before providing any ACP-related service. Participating providers must submit an application certifying the eligibility criteria for the program and demonstrating that they can satisfy the requirements of the applicable established program.
In addition to the required annual officer certification, participating providers must submit to USAC quarterly compliance reviews of the policies and procedures they have in place to ensure compliance with ACP rules. These compliance reviews are critical to ensuring that participating providers are taking steps to protect the program from waste, fraud, and abuse.
How do I qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a government program that helps many households pay for internet service and connected devices. Eligible families can receive monthly credits toward broadband services and a one-time discount to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers.
Your household can receive a discount of up to $30 per month towards your broadband service (or $75 for Tribal lands) and a device discount to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. However, you must notify your internet provider and select a service plan to receive the ACP benefit.
To verify eligibility, visit the ACP National Verifier Portal and log in or create a new account. You can also print out an ACP Application to complete offline. The ACP is a federal program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) with oversight from the Federal Communications Commission.
It leverages the National Eligibility Verifier and the National Lifeline Accountability Database to process applications, enroll subscribers, and reimburse service providers for ACP-eligible customers.
How do I find an internet provider that offers the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Many internet providers nationwide offer plans compatible with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) subsidy. While the $30 subsidy can be applied to most broadband plans, some providers have created special ACP-compatible plans that come at no cost to the customer and offer faster speeds than the average low-income plan. If you’re looking for an ACP-compatible plan, enter your zip code to find a list of participating providers in your area.
Then, contact a sales rep to enroll in an ACP-compatible plan and enjoy faster speeds at no cost! Eligible households can get $30, $75, or $100 in monthly subsidies for their internet service and up to $100 toward a device. In addition, you can get up to $50 in subsidies if you’re on Tribal land.
Applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program is easy, and applications are usually approved immediately. You can apply online through the National Lifeline Verifier or with your internet provider. You can also find a mail-in application with instructions on the USAC’s Affordable Connectivity Program site.