ACP 101: What to Know

by tempuser

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Not everyone is able to keep up with life expenses. Dealing with the internet is no exception. In a day and age where technology is becoming more and more a part of the daily lives of people, the internet is much-needed. However, keeping up with this cost is easier said than done. That is why some people may benefit from a helping hand. Luckily, there is support available! One option in particular is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP aims to provide relief to those who struggle to handle the cost of the internet and other related expenses.

Understanding ACP

Many people don’t even realize that the ACP exists! That is why it is important to get some background context before seeing how to qualify. The benefit of this program is that it is able to provide discounts. These discounts include:

  • Up to $30 per month on internet service
  • Up to $75 per month on internet service for households on tribal lands
  • One discount for up to $100 towards an eligible electronic item

Besides providing discounts, there are other perks that come along with ACP. These perks include:

  • Making sure that any costs that come from the early termination of a plan are not the responsibility of the consumer
  • Giving consumers the ability to change either their service provider or service plan
  • Making sure that regardless of their credit score, consumers are able to get internet service
  • Guaranteeing that providers cannot stop consumers from making use of this program, even with debt

Qualifications for ACP

There are certain income limits that households need to stay within if they want to qualify for ACP. The specific number will vary depending on the size of the household. Regardless, the limit is 200% or lower than the federal poverty line. For example, for 2023, in most states the limit is $101,120 for an 8-person household. Other states like Hawaii, Alaska, and other territories have different limits. For example, for 2023, the limit is $126,440 for an 8-person household in Alaska. Since the numbers vary by state, a good rule of thumb is just to confirm with the state you plan on applying with. They can provide the most accurate information on eligibility requirements and limits that you will face specifically.

Not only are there income requirements when it comes to eligibility, there are other qualifying factors as well. If at least one member of the household has experienced the following then a family may be able to qualify:

  • Is able to reach eligibility through a participating provide for their certain low-income internet program
  • Got a Pell Grant for the award year that is most recent
  • Benefit from other certain government programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and more
  • Benefit from other income-centered Tribal programs

Handling the Application Process for ACP

There are a few different ways that a person can go about handling the application process for ACP. However, one of the most common (and convenient) ways is through the official website. This website is known as You can tell it’s official because it ends in “.gov” which indicates that it is a government website! Besides handling the application process online, others can opt to do a physical application. This would be done through printing out the application and filling it out before mailing it. Once an application is submitted, a person will also want to reach out to their service provider. Why is that? Well because they may require that the recipient fills out one more application. This may need to be done before the discount is able to be applied to the plan! The only way to confirm is by reaching out so make sure to do both.

Some FAQs about ACP

Since this article is the first time coming across ACP for a lot of people, some questions can come up. Luckily, there are frequently asked questions that you may have to which hopefully, when answered, can provide even more clarity.

Does Your Service Provider Take Part in ACP?

There are a few ways that you can go about confirming whether or not your service provider takes part in ACP. First, you can ask them directly. However, you can also look at this list that was provided by the government. It details service providers that participate in ACP. It organizes these providers by both territory and state!

How Will You Get Your ACP Benefits?

For households that are able to receive benefits, it may not be as straightforward as someone expects. That’s because instead of directly receiving the funds, service providers would get them. Once the service provider gets the funds, the discount will be applied to the qualifying household’s service. So those that are able to benefit want to keep in mind that they won’t be able to get the monthly discount directly!

Is ACP a Popular Program?

Yes! In fact, there are over 9 million households that participate in the program. While millions are able to benefit, there are still countless households that are able to qualify but don’t receive support. That is why it is important to be aware of assistance opportunities out there. Households may be able to get benefits and not even realize it!

Bottom Line

The cost of the internet is tough for a lot of people to keep up with. The government understands this which is why they created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program is available thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, qualifying households will be able to see their benefits like a monthly discount through local service providers. For people that want to take part in this support opportunity, they will need to:

  • Submit an application for the ACP
  • Contact their local service provider

The amount of support can vary but the maximums include:

  • Up to $30 per month on internet service
  • Up to $75 per month on internet service for households on tribal lands
  • One discount for up to $100 towards an eligible electronic item

This may be able to help people get a little relief when it comes to a bill that they have to deal with each month. It wouldn’t hurt to see if your household is able to benefit!

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