Community Tech Network promotes and supports enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Federal Communications Commission commissioner Geoffrey Starks recently visited CTN to discuss how to get more people enrolled, and CTN has helped people like our learner Wilma sign up. But what is the ACP?
Why Was the ACP Created?
The Affordable Connectivity Program, with over $14.2 billion in funding, is part of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (PDF) passed by Congress. It replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which was put in place as a temporary measure during the COVID pandemic. Currently, over 11.5 million households are already enrolled in the ACP.
What Does the ACP Offer?
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides eligible low-income households with a discount of up to $30 per month for home broadband or cellphone plans, which includes data from a participating provider. (See a list of providers on this website.) For individuals living on Tribal lands, this discount can be up to $75 a month. Also available to all eligible households is a one-time $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer if bought from a participating provider.
Although listing an address is required to sign up for ACP benefits, homeless individuals are eligible. Applicants can state where they reside at night, whether it be a shelter or street corner. The application does not ask whether housing is temporary.
Additionally, providers cannot deny service based on an individual’s poor credit score rating or if their households’ services were disconnected in the past due to nonpayment.
Applicants also do not need to provide a Social Security number when applying for the benefit.