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The FCC is Taking Steps to Wind Down the Affordable Connectivity Program

January 12, 2024
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would like to inform you that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is expected to end this spring unless Congress appropriates additional funding. As a result, the FCC has begun taking steps to wind down the ACP. The FCC projects that households enrolled in the ACP will continue to receive the benefit on their internet service through April 2024. This date is an estimate and may change.

In 2021, Congress established the Affordable Connectivity Program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and appropriated $14.2 billion for the program. The FCC was tasked to develop and implement the ACP as well as ACP outreach and awareness activities. As of today, over 22 million households are enrolled and receiving the ACP monthly benefit.

What’s happening?

Without additional funding from Congress, the FCC anticipates that the current ACP funding is projected to run out in April 2024. This date is an estimate and may change. As a result, the FCC has begun taking steps to wind down the ACP, which means:

  • No new ACP enrollments will be accepted after February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET.
  • Households that enrolled with an ACP internet company before February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET will continue to receive their ACP benefit until ACP funds run out as long as the household remains enrolled and eligible for the benefit.
  • When ACP funds run out, households participating in the ACP will no longer receive the ACP discounts.

What should ACP households expect?

All households enrolled in the ACP will continue to receive the benefit on their internet service until ACP funding, which is currently projected through April 2024, runs out.

Eligible households who wish to receive the ACP benefit but have not yet applied for the program should submit a completed ACP application as soon as possible to allow time for processing so that an eligibility determination can be made and the eligible household can sign up with an internet company by February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET. To reiterate – during this program wind-down period, households must BOTH submit their application on a timely basis in order to be approved AND if qualified sign up with an ACP-eligible internet company by February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET to receive the benefit.

During the ACP wind-down period, ACP households will receive notices from their internet company about the impact of the end of the benefit on the household’s bill and service. The notices will include:

  • That the ACP is ending,
  • The impact on their bill,
  • The date of the last bill they will receive that includes the ACP benefit, and
  • That they may change their service or opt-out of continuing service after the end of the ACP.

ACP households will also receive notices from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the administrator of the ACP.

ACP households may also switch their internet plans without penalty.

How can you help?

Share this ACP Wind-Down Fact Sheet to help spread the word, also found at: www.fcc.gov/acp. We want to make sure all enrolled households are informed about the program ending and can navigate next steps as they explore alternative ways to stay connected.

Important Dates:

  • January 11, 2024: The FCC released an Order laying out wind-down processes and important dates including the enrollment freeze and the impacts on consumers, internet companies, and ACP Outreach Grant recipients.
  • Starting late January 2024: Households that are currently receiving a monthly ACP benefit will start to receive notices from their internet companies with information about the end of the ACP benefit. This information will include timing of the end of the program and the impact of the loss of the benefit on the household’s bill and service.
  • February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET: This is the last day that the ACP will accept new applications and enrollments. Eligible households must be approved and enrolled with an internet company by 11:59 PM ET on February 7th to receive the ACP benefit until the program ends. Starting February 8, 2024, there will be no more enrollments into the ACP.
  • April 2024: The timeframe the FCC anticipates ACP funding will run out if Congress does not provide additional funding. Currently, the FCC expects consumers that are enrolled in the ACP to continue to receive their full benefit on their internet service through at least April 2024.

We encourage everyone to visit AffordableConnectivity.gov and fcc.gov/acp for more information and further updates regarding the Affordable Connectivity Program. 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).

ACP Wind-Down Order Webinar Coming Up:

If you are interested, the FCC will host a briefing, and you can learn more about what to expect in the future:   The same briefing will take place on the two dates listed below:

Both webinars will be sign language interpreted and captioned.

The FCC will welcome questions for a Q&A session as part of the webinar. Please feel free to submit your questions to us by emailing them to acpinfo@fcc.gov. We will aim to answer all questions submitted during the webinar session.

In general, for more information about the ACP, visit www.fcc.gov/acp.

FCC Press Release and Order: https://www.fcc.gov/document/affordable-connectivity-program-end-soon-barring-congressional-action-0

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