New program helps maintain internet access for low-income households – Here’s how to apply
It was former President Barack Obama who said, “The Internet is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.” The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new FCC-supervised program that was created to help low-income households and participants in government-supported programs pay for Internet service and connected devices. The $14.2 billion program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which has helped nearly 9 million homes afford internet access during the pandemic.
See: 5 million households have signed up for the emergency broadband benefit
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If your household is eligible, you can receive:
- Up to $30 off per month on your Internet service
- Up to $75 off per month if your household is on eligible tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a copayment greater than $10 but less than $50)
Remember that only one monthly service discount and one device discount are allowed per household and to receive the connected device discount, consumers will need to register for the CPA with a participating supplier. Note: Not all Internet companies offer discounts through this program, find the list here.
Anyone enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program will need to reapply for benefits through the updated program to receive services after March 2022.
ACP registration is now open to households where at least one member meets one of the following criteria:
- Has an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
- Participates in some federal assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline
- Participates in tribe-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Indian Reservation Food Distribution Program
- Is eligible to receive benefits under the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating Internet Service Provider‘s existing low-income program
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According to the Social Security Administration’s blog, Social Security Matters, more than 10 million households have already taken advantage of ACP reductions as of February 2022. For more information or to register, click here.
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