Federal Affordable Connectivity Program Can Help Offset Internet Costs for Low-Income Residents

May 9, 2022

Cities can help get the word out to assist residents who face financial barriers to broadband access.

As many residents continue to struggle with affordability barriers to accessing reliable broadband, cities can help by telling residents about the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

ACP is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that helps households pay for their monthly internet service and can result in free high-speed broadband for eligible families.

How to enroll

Residents can enroll in ACP in three steps:

  1. Complete and submit an online or mail-in application available at ACPBenefit.org.
  2. Contact a participating provider to select an internet plan and have the ACP discount applied.
  3. Contact the ACP Support Center at (877) 384-2575.

About ACP

ACP is a $14.2 billion program that was passed as part of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill and went live on Jan. 1, 2022. The ACP benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

ACP is helping to address digital equity and inclusion by ensuring that households have the connections they need for work, school, healthcare, and more.  The ACP can also be combined with existing assistance programs run by participating providers.

Eligibility

A household is eligible for ACP if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline.
  • Participates in tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program in the current or immediately preceding school year.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

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