Affordable Connectivity Program: How It Helps Lower-Income Households

Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) helps lower-income households pay for broadband service and connected devices. It provides discounts of up to $30 per month toward internet service and a one-time deal on an internet-capable device.

Eligible households can sign up online or with their provider. The ACP must complete both steps to apply to a household’s bill.

Eligibility Criteria

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a long-term benefit that helps make internet service more affordable for low-income people. It replaces the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit, which expired on 12/31/21.

You may be eligible for ACP if you qualify for a federal assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, WIC or Lifeline. You also allow if you have children or seniors who receive benefits from free and reduced-price school meals and if you receive federal Pell Grants.

During the application process, you’ll need to provide two types of documents: those showing proof of identity and those offering proof of eligibility. You should also have a valid email address for signing up.

If you’re unsure if you qualify, call ACP to learn more. They can help you decide which documents are needed and provide a list of participating providers in your area.

You can automatically qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if you currently receive a lifeline in Texas. You can receive both benefits simultaneously but must contact a participating provider to enroll in the ACP.

Eligibility Requirements

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 a month toward an internet service provider’s bill for eligible households or $75 for families on tribal lands. It also offers a one-time discount of up to $100 for a suitable home to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a participating provider.

Households are eligible for ACP if their gross annual household income is 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. They may also be eligible if they participate in one of the ACP-qualifying programs, such as free and reduced-price school meals or breakfast.

Eligible households must submit documents to show their income, which includes current pay stubs or other documentation that shows their monthly income. These documents must be from the current school year or the year immediately before applying for ACP.

Applicants should also provide a valid email address. It will help ensure they receive their ACP benefit.

The ACP application process is easy and can be done online. Applications are typically approved within minutes.

Start a campaign to promote ACP with households likely eligible for the benefits. 

Eligibility Verification

ACP eligibility verification is a process by which households can verify their eligibility for the program. The program leverages the National Verifier, approved service provider alternative verification processes, and school-based eligibility verifications.

The National Verifier checks the identity and eligibility of each consumer against available state and federal electronic databases to determine if the household is eligible for the ACP. Once the consumer is suitable, they can complete an ACP application.

A household must have an income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (for single-person families) or 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for two-person households to be eligible. Alternatively, the home can qualify based on participation in other low-income programs.

Additionally, a household can gain ACP eligibility by participating in a state or tribal assistance program. The FCC and USAC recommend contacting eligible families to inform them about ACP.

Suppose a household is still determining its eligibility. In that case, it can ask the current internet provider to verify their household income or use the Household Worksheet to demarcate the household’s income qualifying standard. Depending on their eligibility, households can save up to $30 per month off their Internet bills by participating in the ACP. They can also use their savings to upgrade to higher speeds on more affordable plans.

Eligible Households

Those who live in low-income households that meet specific eligibility criteria may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program is designed to help households afford broadband connections for school, work, health care, utilities, and other services.

ACP discounts broadband service and free high-speed internet plans to low-income households. These discounts can save homes up to $30 per month off their monthly internet bill and up to $75 monthly for homes.

Find an eligible provider and sign up for an ACP plan. Many providers participate in the program. Once you have signed up for an ACP plan, you should see a monthly credit on your second bill. This credit is used to pay for your internet and mobile services, with no minimum monthly spend required.

If you have questions about ACP, contact your provider or visit the ACP website for more information. The website also lists participating broadband providers and a tool to help you find one near you.

Households are eligible for ACP if they have a gross income of 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This income limit is based on household size and state and can be verified with a tax return or three consecutive pay stubs.