The US federal government started assistive programs that help settle internet bills for millions of American residents. Currently, it’s available to a broader group of people and every state in the country. The original program, known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit, has been helping low-income families with free internet and devices and stopped accepting new applicants in December 2021. You can apply for an affordable connectivity program tablet for your free device today!
Most importantly, the over 9 million households fully subscribed to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program up to December 31, 2021, will proceed to receive their current ebb free tablet and monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. Notably, the new affordable connectivity program taking the place of the Emergency Broadband Benefit is already up and running. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) started December 31, 2021, as a long-term project of the original monthly discounts benefit.
On the other hand, the Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program by FCC that seeks to ensure that households and low-income families can afford the broadband they require for work, healthcare, school, and more. Besides, the Affordable Connectivity Program permits one monthly service discount and one device discount per household member. Interestingly, the eligible households can also get a one-time towards buying a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
Apply for A Tablet Through ACP
There are three different methods to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program. First, you can apply online at ACP’s online application portal through login and creating a new account.
Secondly, you have the option to apply by mail. To get started, you will have to print out an application, fill it out and send it together with your copies of the needed documents to:
ACP Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742.
Finally, the other option is to contact your internet service provider who offers free government phones and tablets and directly inquire if they also participate in the affordable connectivity program tablet discount benefits. If they qualify for participation, they will assist you and take you through the needed steps to complete the process.
Additionally, if you opt to apply online, it’s more likely to get immediate approval. If you don’t get a response immediately, there may be a need for additional documentation for you to proceed with the ACP discount. Immediately you’re approved, you can go forward on the final step.
Qualification for the Affordable Connectivity Program
You qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if you have an income that equals or less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines OR if any member of the household:
- Participates in specific assistance programs, including SNAP, SSI, WIC, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Lifeline;
- Participates in one of the listed Tribal specific programs that include: Tribal Head Start (only households with the relevant income qualifying standard), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Acquired a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Acquired approval for benefits with a K-12 student through the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, primarily through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year; or
- Meets the qualifying criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
Benefits of the Affordable Connectivity Program
The benefit from this program offers a discount of up to $30 each month for internet service for qualified households and up to $75 monthly benefits towards households on qualifying Tribal lands. Interestingly, the eligible households can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop or tablet, desktop computer from participating wireless providers. You have to contribute from $10 and less than $50 following the purchase price if you qualify.
However, just like free government tablets, only one monthly service discount and one device discount are allowed per household for ACP. If you want to get the tablet device discount, you need to apply in the ACP through a participating provider that provides connected devices. Notably, not all internet providers offer device discounts, so check with your provider of choice before applying.
Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment Process
Proceed to ACP Benefit to give an application online or print one to send by mail. You can also contact 877-384-2575 to request a paper application (with a paid return envelope) forwarded to you. If you finish the application and upload the necessary documents online, approval takes just a few minutes. If you send mailed applications and documentation, expect processing to take 10 to 14 days.
Immediately your application gets approved, you can contact a participating internet service provider to apply your discount. The discount will get added to your bill; you won’t get any money directly, and your discount can’t exceed the amount of your monthly bill.
Perhaps, you’ll have to periodically resubmit proof of documentation to the program to retain your eligibility before renewing your annual service agreement. You will get information from your ACP participating provider about how and when to submit documentation to prove your ongoing eligibility status.
However, more than 1,000 internet service providers participate in the ACP program. And, documentation proving your eligibility, including copies of tax returns, can get submitted by uploading images online or mailing hard copies. Besides, some internet providers may discount only on specific plans or have eligibility restrictions. For instance, Verizon directs that it can terminate your discount if you go 30 days without service use.
Eligibility For The Affordable Connectivity Program
First, to enroll for the Affordable Connectivity Program, households should navigate to the ACP benefit website or mail in an application, a household worksheet, and necessary documentation to ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
Besides, if you’re looking for additional information on the affordable connectivity program, you can get more details by visiting FCC ACP. If you want a list of providers in the program, proceed to FCC affordable connectivity program providers.
Already a Lifeline subscriber
Contact your internet company directly to sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). If you are currently participating in the Lifeline program and receiving a free tablet with food stamps, you don’t require to apply again for the ACP. Interestingly, you can apply for your Lifeline and ACP benefit to similar or separate services.
Most importantly, please discuss with your Lifeline provider the services they currently have as part of the ACP, including options to add the discounts to your existing Lifeline service. Or apply through another internet company taking part in the ACP to apply for the benefit through a separate internet service.
Sign Up to Receive ACP
Immediate FCC approves your application; you can select a company that provides ACP discounts on monthly internet discounts plus devices and sign up for service. You can talk to a participating company to know more about their available services for ACP beneficiaries. To find an ACP company in your area, utilize the Companies Near Me tool and search your Zip code or your city and state.
Moreover, if you want to check the complete list of options, you can click on “see the list of companies in your state.” still, you can find a comprehensive list of participating providers by state and territory on the FCC webpage.
Transfer ACP Service
The FCC came up with transfer-specific consent and disclosure requirements, for instance, when Affordable Connectivity Program households need to transfer their benefits to different service providers. The transfer-in provider must state orally or in writing, clearly, in easily understood language to the household:
- That the household will transfer its benefit to the transfer-in provider
- That the results of the transfer are that the benefit will get applied to the transfer-in provider’s service and will no longer get applied to service retained from the transfer-out provider;
- The household is responsible for the transfer-out provider’s undiscounted rates as a result of the transfer if the household elects to maintain service from the transfer-out provider, and that
- The household is restricted to one transfer transaction per service month with limited exceptions to reverse an improper transfer or address situations impacting the household’s receipt of program-supported service from a particular provider.
Suppose you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program based on the criteria listed above. In that case, you may get a monthly discount of $30 toward the broadband service plan of choice for eligible households. And a $75 monthly benefit for households residing on qualifying Tribal lands.
Interestingly, eligible households receive a one-time discount of up to $100 tablets from eligible providers. There are various internet providers, more so those providing landline and wireless services. Depending on your area, you may have a variety of providers.