January 4, 2022
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Transitions to New Affordable Connectivity Program
WASHINGTON, December 31, 2021—In accordance with Congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Federal Communications Commission today officially launched the Affordable Connectivity Program, the $14.2 billion successor program to the Emergency Broadband Benefit which helped almost 9 million afford internet access during the pandemic. As of today, eligible households are encouraged to apply to receive up to $30 per month discount toward internet service 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 response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit proved what many knew to be true: the cost of high-speed internet is out of reach for too many of us,” said FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Now with the long-term Affordable Connectivity Program, we have the opportunity to enroll even more households and help ensure they can afford the internet connections they need for work, school, health care and more for years.”
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program 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, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
Final program rules will be adopted by the Commission in January. For more information about the Affordable Connectivity Program, please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/ACP.
Households may apply to participate in the ACP at https://www.fcc.gov/acp. More information about steps current Emergency Broadband Benefit recipients must take to continue receiving the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit after March 1, 2022 will be available in the coming weeks.
If you or your organization are interested in raising awareness about the ACP, you may sign up to be an ACP Outreach Partner at https://www.fcc.gov/acp-consumer-outreach-toolkit.
American Sign Language Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgRo-mjiJh8
For more information about the Affordable Connectivity Program, please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/acp. Individuals with Disabilities (or someone on their behalf) may call the Disability Rights Office at 202-418-2517. In addition, individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).