New Program Helps Continue Internet Access For Low-Income Households – Here’s How to Apply
It was former President Barack Obama that said, “The internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new program overseen by the FCC that was created to help low-income households and government-assisted program participants pay for internet service and connected devices. The $14.2 billion program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which helped almost 9 million households afford internet access during the pandemic.
If your household is eligible, you can receive:
- Up to a $30 per month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75 per month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
Keep in mind that only one monthly service discount and one device discount are allowed per household and to receive the connected device discount, consumers will need to enroll in the ACP with a participating provider. Note: not all internet companies offer discounts through this program, find the list here.
Anyone enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program will need to reapply for benefits through the updated program to receive services after March 2022.
Enrollment in the ACP is now open for households with at least one member qualifying under any of the following criteria:
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
- Participates in certain Federal 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, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating internet provider’s existing low-income program
According to the Social Security Administration’s blog, Social Security Matters, more than 10 million households have already taken advantage of ACP discounts as of February 2022. For more information, or to enroll, click here.
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