Affordable Communications Program - Overview
The Affordable Connectivity Program (APC) is a government program run by the Federal Communications Corporation. The purpose is to help low-income individuals access broadband services. In other words, ACP aims to level the playing field by assisting low-income individuals to afford the very same devices and internet services needed for everyday life. Internet access is integral for things like education, health, daily communication, and more.
What the Affordable Connectivity Program Provides
The Affordable Connectivity Program (which replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit effective 12/31/21) provides a monthly discount on Internet services. The amount of the discount depends on certain criteria. For example, eligible households may receive a monthly discount of up to $30 or up to $75 a month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
In addition to the monthly discount, there’s a one-time discount of up to $100 to apply towards the purchase of a desktop, laptop, or tablet, subject to a small co-pay ranging between $10 and $50. Keep in mind, that the internet service provider must participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program to provide such discounts. Not all carriers participate.
To be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, the household income has to meet one of the following criteria:
Purchasing the Tablet
Once you meet the criteria visit National Verifier website to submit an application. You have the option of completing the application or line or, you can print the application, fill it out and then mail it in. Once you have completed the ACP app and have been approved, go to one of the participating phone service providers and complete their application.
Please Note:The states of California, Texas and Oregon have opted out of participating in the National Verifier database. Therefore, if you live in one of these states please check with the state’s governing authority on how to sign up for ACP benefits.
Here on this site, we have a listing of potential ACP participants, but it is not complete. If your local or preferred phone company is not on our list, that doesn't mean they don't participate. Call them to find out whether or not they offer ACP benefits. You might be surprised that more companies participate than you might have thought. Companies that offer landline services participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program. So don't rule out companies just because you don’t think they participate.
Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Combination
If you’re not currently enrolled in Lifeline, you should do so. The eligibility requirements for ACP are the same as those for Lifeline. If you combine both programs, you will be entitled to broader benefits such as a free government tablet with unlimited talk/text and data.
How Long Will the Affordable Connectivity Program Last?
It will last as long as the government continues to fund it. It currently has over $14 billion allocated for the program. It's expected to be around for a long time. Currently, there's no end date.
Note: Only one free government phone and one free/discounted service per household.
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Last Modified: 27 March 2023
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