The Emergency Broadband Benefit, abbreviated as EBB, is a short-lived program that offers discounts on monthly Internet access services and some select connected devices. However, the program was scheduled to end as of December 31, 2021, and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) succeeded it.
The emergence of the pandemic disease provoked the FCC to establish a temporary government-aided program called the EBB. This program aims to help households struggling with internet service during the pandemic. Interestingly, the eligible members will continue receiving their benefits on the free iPhone ACP program for a transition period of 60 days after the program ends.
This program provided a discount of up to $50 and $75 on qualifying Tribal lands monthly towards broadband service for qualified households. Additionally, the participating households also get a one-time device discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from an EBB participating wireless provider.
However, the new successor of EBB, the ACP program, is also an FCC’s permanent Lifeline program, which provides similar benefits as the EBB program, like free monthly service and free smartphones or Apple iPhones. On the other hand, some Lifeline providers haven’t changed their offers, and some still offer a free iPhone EBB program. Thus, there are still plenty of options to receive a free government Android smartphone or iPhone.
Benefits Of The ACP Program
Besides providing free iPhones or Android smartphones, EBB (now ACP) also offers some other benefits under the government assistance programs. The benefits that currently apply for the EBB/ACP program include:
- Eligible households and customers receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service, while eligible households living in qualifying Tribal lands can receive a $75 monthly discount.
- Eligible households and customers can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 for an EBB program laptop, desktop computer, or tablet through a participating wireless provider. However, you must contribute more than $10 and not more than $50 toward the buying price of the device.
Eligibility Criteria For ACP
An individual or household is EBB-certified if they attain one or more of the following criteria:
- Your household income is less than or at 135% of the Federal Poverty Standards.
- Any member of your household receives benefits from specific federal aided programs, such as Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or specific Tribal Programs.
- Any member of your household received a federal Pell Grant award in the current award year.
- Any household member was approved to get benefits through the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including under the USDA Community Eligibility provision in the academic years 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022.
- Any household member faced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or layoff from February 29, 2020, and had a gross income at or less than $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers in 2020.
Procedure To Get A Free iPhone ACP Program
Nevertheless, the internet service providers that provided free iPhones through the EBB program now provide free iPhones under the ACP and Lifeline program. However, to apply for an Emergency Broadband Benefit program and receive a free iPhone from any government-supported program such as EBB, ACP, or Lifeline, you must follow the steps below.
Ensure you are EBB/ACP or Lifeline eligible based on the program under which the provider offers free iPhones.
Locate an EBB/ACP/Lifeline provider that provides services and free iPhones for qualified customers in the state where you live.
Apply for the provider’s EBB/ACP/Lifeline program by calling them or filling out their online application. You can also send an ACP application directly at acpbenefit.org. For Lifeline, you can apply using the National Verifier application system at checklifeline.org/lifeline.
Application For The Affordable Connectivity Program
There are different ways you can sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefits.
- Proceed to the GetEmergencyBroadband.org website and use the online application
- Call or chat online with your preferred broadband internet provider
- Utilize the official EBBP tool to locate a participating provider near you
Print and send an application to the following address:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
Best Providers That Offer Free iPhone Under ACP Program
Numerous service providers participate in the ACP program to make broadband services easier and affordable to eligible consumers. However, the majority offer EBB free tablet programs, but not every carrier offers a free iPhone from ACP. The following are the wireless providers that are actively offering free iPhones under the EBB program at the moment.
1) Cintex Wireless
Cintex wireless is the leading and most popular ACP carrier that avails free iPhones together with other high-quality smartphones to its customers. However, this carrier provides Lifeline in addition to EBB services in 5 states in the US. Arkansas, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Maine. Therefore, if you are an eligible EBB customer residing across these states, you will most likely receive a free iPhone from ACP.
Notably, different states feature different eligibility rules. Therefore, you must confirm your state’s eligibility before applying for the free iPhone. If you want to make an application, proceed to Cintex Wireless, input your ZIP code and email in the given boxes to sign up. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to finish the form. You must provide all the required personal information and documentation, which proves your identity and eligibility.
However, you must apply, prove your eligibility, and wait for approval to receive your free iPhone. After you apply, wait for a confirmation letter, and in case your application goes through, you may soon get a free government iPhone or another smartphone.
2) NewPhone Wireless
NewPhone Wireless is a wireless service provider, a Lifeline, and ACP, provider. If you qualify for Lifeline and ACP programs, you receive free monthly wireless services and smartphones. However, NewPhone Wireless provides free government iPhones under the EBB program throughout the United States.
Besides, if you decide to apply for a NewPhone Wireless free government iPhone, you must be ACP-eligible. You must be a participant in a government program like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, WIC, Lifeline, etc.) or participate in a Tribal specific program.
You can go to apply NewPhone and apply online and submit all the necessary personal information and documentation, which confirms your identity and eligibility. Then, click ‘Sign up’ to complete the process, and the government’s secure system will verify your application.
After application, the process takes about 20 minutes to 4 days for your application to get reviewed. You will get a free monthly service and a free iPhone if approved. You can get a free phone within 7 to 10 business days, and the shipment is free of charge.
3) SFone Wireless
SFone is a wireless service provider that is part of the EBB program. However, it’s not clear whether the provider is currently offering the EBB program. You can receive a free iPhone under their ACP program, assuming that they will. Currently, SFone provides its services in a few US states, including Arkansas, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland, and West Virginia. However, they are soon strategizing on expanding their services to cover other US states.
Moreover, one’s former EBB program has joined Cintex Wireless to offer free wireless services and a free Android or Apple smartphone to qualified customers. To apply for one’s government-sponsored program, you must qualify through the Lifeline, EBB, and ACP eligibility criteria as listed above.
To apply, go to SFone Wireless. And apply online by giving all of the needed information and documentation to confirm your identity and prove your eligibility. Afterward, contact SFone’s customer care at +1 (855)655-3097 and talk to a customer care agent to apply. If the company okays your eligibility for the program, you may get a free government iPhone or an Android smartphone.
EBB is a program funded by the US government’s last attacked pandemic relief funds directed by the FCC. However, qualifying customers can receive free iPhones from the qualifying wireless providers together with Unlimited Data, Talk, and Text. Notably, the program is at its succession period, but members will continue to get benefits until an official communication is made about the end of the program. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is the purported successor to the EBB program.