FAMILIES looking to save money on their broadband bill may find some relief.
A government program is available to those who qualify and can save households up to hundreds of dollars a year.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It replaces the Emergency Broadband Allowance (EBB) which is being phased out.
EBB was launched to help low-income families and those who had lost their income during the pandemic to access the internet through discounted programs.
Today more than ever, it is recognized that people need Wi-Fi to work from home, conduct remote learning, or access healthcare, among several activities.
As part of the President’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, the government is earmarking $14 billion to continue providing assistance to families in need.
This will help ensure that households can continue to afford broadband.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program offers a discount of up to $30 per month on Internet service for eligible households.
That’s a savings of $360 per year.
Eligible households on tribal lands can receive up to $75 per month.
Households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet from participating vendors, if they contribute more than $10. USD and less than 50 USD at the purchase price.
The benefit is limited to one monthly service rebate and one device rebate per household.
Who is eligible?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if a household member meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Your income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
- You participate in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, or Lifeline
- You participate in specific tribal programs, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or an Indian reservation food distribution program
- Your children have been approved to receive benefits under the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Program at any time during the 2019-2020 school year through present
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current year
- You meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program
To register, visit acpbenefit.org to submit an application or print an application by mail.
You will also need to contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.
The FCC provides a list of participating vendors.
Eligible households must both enroll in the program and contact a participating provider to select a plan.
If you were part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you will need to reapply for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
We describe what is changing in the benefits of government broadband.
Plus, ways to lower your broadband bill.