Affordable Connectivity Program
No access to the internet has been a major concern and a cause of a digital divide among different classes in the United States. To counter this problem and make the internet accessible to the masses, the government has launched an Affordable Connectivity Program. This initiative is aimed at helping low-income households get internet access at discounted prices. Eligible users can choose from suitable participating Internet providers and get a cut in their internet bill.
Learn what this affordable connectivity initiative is, how it works, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply in this blog.
What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The affordable connectivity program is a step the government of the United States has taken to provide internet access to more households. The program was launched on the 31st of December 2021 and is expected to stay active.
There are three types of discounts in ACP. The first one is a price cut of $30 from the monthly internet bill of a household. Households can get a massive discount of up to $75 per month if they qualify for tribal lands. In addition to cuts in internet bills, this initiative is also aimed at helping people buy internet devices by offering $100 off on the purchase of a computer (laptop or PC) or a tablet device from a participant brand.
This assistance in buying internet devices and discounts on monthly internet bills can potentially help more people leverage digital opportunities for themselves and their businesses.
Criteria to Apply for Affordable Connectivity Discount
There are certain requirements for a household or a user to be eligible for the program. The first and most obvious factor is the income of the household.
People who have an annual income equal to or less than 200% of poverty guidelines. For DC and 48 states, this income is $27,180. Further, for Hawaii and Alaska, it is $31,260 and $33,980 respectively. For every additional person living in the household, these prices increase by $9,440 in contiguous states, $10,860 in Hawaii, and $11,800 in Alaska. You can add the household income and see if it is the same or below the defined numbers.
You should know that this discount applies per household. Multiple eligible members cannot apply and get a further discount of $30 on the monthly connection.
Besides the income of the household, there are other ways to be eligible for the connectivity program too. You or someone living with you must be a participant in at least one of the government assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, or some other.
Federal Assistance Programs
If anyone in the household or you are eligible participants of any of the government initiatives mentioned below, you qualify for affordable connectivity.
- SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Infants, Children, and Women
- SSI Supplemental Security Income
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
FPHA or Federal Public Housing Assistance
This program covers the following:
- HCV or Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
- PBRA or Project-Based Rental Assistance (Section 202/811)
- Public Housing
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives
You will probably have to show proof of participation by sharing some relevant documents.
Tribal Assistance Program
People living in qualified tribal lands with income below or equal to what is mentioned in the table above. You also qualify if someone in the household participates in one of the following:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Head Start (based on household income)
- Tribal TANF (Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Again, you may have to show proof of participation by sharing relevant documents.
For Recipients of the Lifeline Benefit
Lifeline benefit is a program by Federal Communications Commission to offer affordable communication services to low-income users. If you receive the Lifeline benefit, you automatically qualify for ACP. You can even apply for both benefits at the same time from the same or different providers.
Qualification Through Your Child
Your children can also help you qualify for affordable internet access. If you have children or kids dependent on you and they participate in the programs mentioned earlier, you are eligible for ACP. For example, if any of your dependents participate in Reduced Price School Lunch Program, you qualify for the internet benefit.
How to Apply for the Connectivity Program
If you fulfill the eligibility criteria for this connectivity program, the next step is to apply. You will confirm your eligibility by filling in the ACP application form. This information gets your application approved or rejected. So, take your time to fill in the application. Once you apply, you will receive a confirmation when your application is received and reviewed.
Which Providers Offer Affordable Connectivity Programs?
It is important to note that not all providers offer affordable internet access with ACP. A provider must be participating in the program. Check your local providers to see if they have an ACP program first. Often providers have a separate application of their own that the customers must fill the form in addition to the actual program’s application.
Check out some of the popular internet service providers that are participants of the program in the following:
|ACP Internet Providers||Price||Contact Numbers|
|AT&T||$55 per month||TFN|
|Spectrum||$49.99 per month||TFN|
|Cox||$49.99 per month||TFN|
|Optimum||$40 per month||TFN|
The prices in the table are the regular ones for the most affordable plans before the discount. See which providers are offering services in your area, speeds, and everything else before signing up for the service.
ACP is a government initiative taken to make the internet affordable and accessible to users across the United States. People get discounts of $30 on monthly internet fees from participant internet providers. Check the eligibility criteria and apply with the process mentioned earlier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does ACP stand for?
It stands for Affordable Connectivity Program.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a government initiative to offer affordable internet access to low-income households.
Is the Affordable Connectivity Program permanent?
The program is expected to continue as long as it is funded by the federal government.
How to apply for an affordable connectivity program?
Check your eligibility and then fill in the application form (the general ACP form and provider’s application form if any).
How long will the affordable connectivity program last?
The program will last as long as the initiative is supported by the government.
Who qualifies for an Affordable Connectivity Program?
Households with income below or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or households with participants of some other government assistance program.