The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible households with a discount on broadband service and connected devices.
On November 15, 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) became law. The Infrastructure Act provides $14.2 billion to modify and extend the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) to a longer-term broadband affordability program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Infrastructure Act directs the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) to undertake a proceeding to adopt final rules for the ACP. On November 18, 2021, the Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the rules and administration of the ACP.
The Infrastructure Act also directs the Commission to effectuate for the ACP specified changes, such as to program eligibility criteria and the program benefit amount, by the effective date, which the Bureau determined to be December 31, 2021.
The Infrastructure Act also provides for a 60-day transition period from the EBB Program to the ACP for households fully enrolled in the EBB Program as of December 31, 2021. Accordingly, the 60-day transition period for the ACP started on December 31, 2021 and ended on March 1, 2022. The ACP also began to accept enrollments on December 31, 2021.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The 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, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs:
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
- Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/202/811
- Public Housing
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- or Lifeline;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income based)
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
How Does the ACP Protect Consumers?
FCC rules protect Affordable Connectivity Program recipients by:
- Empowering consumers to choose the service plan that best meets their needs (including a plan they may already be on);
- Ensuring consumers have access to supported broadband services regardless of their credit status;
- Prohibiting providers from excluding consumers with past due balances or prior debt from enrolling in the program;
- Preventing consumers from being forced into more expensive or lower quality plans in order to receive the ACP;
- Ensuring that consumers are not liable for early termination fees;
- Reducing the potential for bill shock or other financial harms;
- Allowing ACP recipients to switch providers or broadband service offerings; and
- Providing a dedicated FCC process for ACP complaints.
Get More Consumer Information
Check out the Affordable Connectivity Program Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit.
Which Internet Service Providers Are Participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Various internet providers, including those offering landline and wireless internet service, are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program. Find internet service providers offering the benefit in your state or territory.
Service providers can find more information about how to participate here.