Available FCC Support Programs

by tempuser

People have always struggled to keep up with their bills and a lot of people are finding it harder and harder. This can result in people living paycheck to paycheck which can be stressful if any emergency costs happen. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that people can reduce how much they spend on certain bills and expenses each month. One way that people get support is through government programs. The government has many branches that offer a variety of programs. Specifically, we are going to highlight the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This branch of the federal government provides a variety of programs that can help people across the country. 

What Programs Does the FCC Offer?

Before we dive into available programs we want to provide some brief info on the FCC. They are responsible for the regulation of communications in forms like:

  • Satellite
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Wire
  • Cable

They are responsible for all parts of the U.S. which include territories, not only states. Some of their goals include:

  • Helping the economy of America by helping with the need for efficient communication
  • Aiming to provide the best services for all forms of communication
  • Keeping communications laws up to date

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into some available programs that the FCC offers which include:

Besides these programs that can benefit households directly, there are other FCC opportunities that help people indirectly. These programs include:

  • E-Rate
  • Rural Health Care Program
  • High-Cost Program

Lifeline Program

This is one of the most popular programs that the FCC offers. People are able to benefit from this program in a variety of different ways! But first, let’s start off with the basics. This program can provide discounts on wireless or wireline services. Besides phone services, it could provide a discount on internet services. The discounts amount can be:

  • Up to $9.25 for non-tribal households
  • Up to $34.25 for households on tribal lands

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Another program that can provide discounts to households is the ACP. This program focuses on providing a discount to households every month on internet services. The amount of the discount can be:

  • Up to $30 for non-tribal households
  • Up to $75 for households on tribal lands

Besides these monthly discounts, certain households can get an additional one-time discount of up to $100. This discount can be applied to certain devices like:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Desktop Computers

Benefits of Lifeline and ACP

Besides household benefits, people can see some additional benefits when it comes to phone carriers. Certain carriers work with both Lifeline and ACP to provide a variety of benefits to people like free phones and generous plans with unlimited text and talk. There are so many different carriers that utilize both of these programs to provide their own plan to help those in need. There is a tool available from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Their online tool makes it easy for consumers to see what companies offer these perks that they can take advantage of from both of these programs. Some carriers you may come across include:

  • Assurance Wireless
  • Cintex Wireless
  • Copper Valley Telecom
  • Easy Wireless
  • Life Wireless
  • Q Link
  • Safelink Wireless
  • TruConnect
  • True Wireless


Even though a lot of people don’t know about this program, it indirectly helps more than most think. It makes it possible for places like libraries and schools to offer communication services to those that they serve. They offer discounts as low as 20% to as high as 90% on telecommunication services, internet access, and more.

Rural Health Care Program

The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program aims to improve access to telecommunication and broadband services for rural health care providers in the United States. By providing funding and support, the RHC Program helps these providers offer better quality health care to rural communities. This includes providing:

  • Telehealth services
  • Improved communication
  • Education and training
  • Enhanced emergency response
  • Cost reduction
  • Economic benefits

High-Cost Program

Through providing funds to different carriers, the High-Cost program aims to provide affordable services in eligible areas. The carriers that would receive the funds are known as eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs). These ETCs focus on areas that are rural that face either being under-served or not being served at all. 

Two main funds from this program are legacy funds and the Connect America Fund (CAF). Legacy funds focus on supporting voice service. CAF aims to increase access to high-speed broadband internet service. By bridging the digital divide, CAF can help Americans through education by creating economic opportunities, health care improvements, as well as social connections. Specifically, one part of CAF is the Mobility Fund. This fund refers to the wireless portion of CAF. Its main focus is the expansion of broadband networks that are mobile in specific areas. 

Bottom Line

Two popular programs that the FCC offers are Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). These programs’ main focus is helping qualifying people in need. While both programs can provide monthly discounts, the amounts, and main focus are different. For Lifeline, the monthly discount towards certain wireless, wireline or broadband services is:

  • Up to $9.25 for non-tribal households
  • Up to $34.25 for households on tribal lands

On the other hand, the monthly discount that the ACP can provide on certain internet services is:

  • Up to $30 for non-tribal households
  • Up to $75 for households on tribal lands

Besides these monthly discounts, ACP can provide an additional one-time discount of up to $100. While both programs provide nice discounts, it’s important to be aware of all the ways that people can benefit from these programs. This includes accessing free phones, services, and generous plans through carriers that partner with these two programs. Through this partnership, carriers are able to offer plans that can help low-income individuals. These two programs are the more common ones but people still may benefit from other FCC programs such as:

  • E-Rate
  • Rural Health Care Program
  • High-Cost Program

The FCC has a variety of programs available with the goal of helping communities and households in need. It’s important to be aware of what’s out there so you can be knowledgeable on ways you could potentially improve your current situation!

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