By Sarah Tolchin, 2022 Government Affairs Intern
Click on any of the following links to jump to a section:
- What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
- How much can I get with the ACP?
- Do I qualify for the ACP?
- How do I sign up for the ACP?
- How long will I receive the ACP benefit for?
- What internet service providers participate in the ACP?
- Have additional questions?
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
Internet access is essential for work, school, healthcare, and more. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new benefit created through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help more households afford broadband service and internet-connected devices. The ACP is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). There are two ways the ACP can help you afford internet services:
- Discounted services: The ACP provides eligible households with a discount of up to $30 per month to use on internet services with one of more than 1,300 participating internet providers.
- Free services: The government has partnered with 20 internet service providers to supply high-speed, high-quality internet (minimum of 100 Mb per second download speed) for $30 per month or less. If you use your ACP benefit with one of the 20 partner providers, your internet service will be free.
How much can I get with the ACP?
With the ACP, eligible households can receive:
- Up to $30 per month discount for broadband service OR up to $75 per month discount for broadband service on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet purchased through a participating provider IF the household pays between $10 and $50 toward the price of the device
While eligible households can receive a discount of up to $30 per month, the amount depends on the services your household chooses. The ACP credit will never be more than the monthly cost for your broadband services.
- If you choose a plan that costs more than $30 per month, you will be required to pay the remaining amount out of pocket.
- If you choose one of the 20 internet providers offering services for $30 per month, your monthly internet cost will be zero.
The ACP is limited to one $30 per month service discount and one $100 device discount per eligible household, NOT per person.
Do I qualify for the ACP?
Between 40-50 million families are eligible for this program. You can qualify for the ACP if you have:
- Household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- At least one household member who meets at least one of the criteria listed below:
- Participates in one of the following federal assistance programs:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
- The National School Lunch Program or The School Breakfast Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Lifeline benefits
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria of a participating provider’s existing internet program for people with low incomes
- Participates in at least one of the following assistance programs AND lives on Qualifying Tribal Lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income-based)
- Participates in one of the following federal assistance programs:
How do I sign up for the ACP?
If you already get Lifeline benefits, reach out to your current internet provider directly. You do not need to sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program. You can apply your Lifeline and ACP benefit to the same or separate services.
If you already participate in a broadband service program for people with low incomes with a non-Lifeline provider, reach out to your current internet provider directly to ask about joining the ACP. You may not need to apply for the ACP separately.
If you do not participate in either of the above two programs, there are three ways to apply for the ACP:
- Go to the Lifeline and ACP National Verifier Portal and log in or create a new account to complete the ACP application online. Applying online is fast and applications are sometimes approved immediately.
2. By Mail
- Print out an ACP Application (in English or in Spanish) and follow the ACP Application Instructions.
- The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) recommends also printing out a Household Worksheet (in English or in Spanish) and including it with your application to help make sure that you get the correct benefit amount if more than one person in your household is eligible. See the ACP Household Worksheet Instructions to learn more.
- Send the completed ACP Application Form and Household Worksheet (if using), to:
ACP Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
3. Contact your internet provider directly
- Ask your current internet provider if they participate in the ACP. If so, you may be able to work with them directly and skip the application process.
- Use the USAC’s ACP Provider Locator Online Tool to help find a participating internet provider near you.
If your eligibility cannot be confirmed based on your application, the program will contact you to request additional information and provide instructions on how to submit it. If you are signing up by mail, you are encouraged to include printed copies of your documents with your application to avoid processing delays.
Once your application for the ACP is approved, you can select a participating internet provider by using the USAC’s ACP Provider Locator Online Tool and sign up for the service.
To select one of the 20 internet service providers offering services for $30 per month or less, see “Participating Service Providers” on this page.
Some participating providers have an additional application that you will need to complete.
You must apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program AND contact a participating internet provider to select a service plan to receive the benefits.
How long will I receive the ACP benefit for?
You will be eligible to receive the ACP benefit for as long as you qualify for the program. The ACP itself will last for as long as the federal government provides funding, which is expected to continue for several years. Households that are enrolled in the program will be notified at least 30 days prior to the program ending.
If you no longer qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you must notify your ACP internet company within 30 days.
What internet service providers participate in the ACP?
There are over 1,300 internet providers, including some offering landline and wireless internet service, that are participating in the ACP. Visit Affordable Connectivity Program Providers to see which providers offer this benefit in your state or territory.
To learn the 20 internet service providers that offer high-speed internet plans for $30 per month or less, see “Participating Service Providers” on this page.
Have additional questions?
If you have questions about your eligibility or application status, you can:
- Call the ACP Support Center at (877) 384-2575. This helpline is available 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.
- Email questions to ACPSupport@usac.org.
- Visit the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program page for additional information about the ACP.
For questions about the 20 internet service providers offering plans for $30 or less, see the White House’s Get Internet page.