The ACP Is No Longer Accepting Applications
The Affordable Connectivity Program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 8th. Barring additional funding from Congress, April is expected to be the last month enrolled households will receive the full benefit. Consumers had to be approved and enrolled with a service provider by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 7th to receive the ACP benefit.
- All ACP households enrolled at the time of the enrollment freeze, February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET, will be able to remain enrolled through the final month of ACP service if they are not required to be de-enrolled under FCC rules.
- Households that are de-enrolled from the program, such as for failure to use their ACP-supported service, will not be able to re-apply or re-enroll in the ACP during the enrollment freeze.
ACP enrolled households are strongly encouraged to carefully review written notices from their internet company and from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the ACP administrator, about the ACP wind-down.
Households are also encouraged to consult their internet company to learn more about how the end of the ACP will impact their internet service and bill.
- ACP Wind-Down Fact Sheet | Hoja informativa sobre el fin del programa ACP
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers | Preguntas frecuentes sobre el fin del programa ACP
Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was tasked to develop and maintain the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – a federal program that offers eligible households a discount on their monthly internet bill and a one-time discount off the purchase of a laptop, desktop or tablet computer. Since launching in December 2021, the ACP is now helping over 22 million eligible households gain access to online internet service, allowing subscribers to take advantage of educational and career building resources, telehealth services and more. However, as a result of the program's nation-wide success, the allotted funds of $14.2 billion for the ACP are approaching depletion. Without additional funding, the ACP must begin a wind-down process.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the ACP wind-down process (download PDF; preguntas frecuentes sobre el fin del programa ACP - PDF) , along with general FAQs about the ACP.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal program that offers eligible households a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 toward the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
What does wind-down mean for the ACP?
In 2021, Congress established the ACP in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and appropriated $14.2 billion for the program. Current ACP funding is projected to run out at the end of April 2024. As of January 2024, Congress has not appropriated additional funding for the ACP to keep the program going beyond April 2024. As a result, the FCC has begun taking steps to wind down the ACP. Wind-down steps will result in ending the ACP at which time enrolled households will no longer receive the program discounts.
Wind-down steps will include, but are not limited to:
- A freeze on new ACP applications and enrollment. The last day to enroll in the ACP is February 7, 2024, by 11:59 PM ET.
- Households that are enrolled by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 7, 2024 can continue receiving monthly discounted broadband service from their internet company through the end of the ACP, which is currently projected to be April 2024.
- Outreach with national and local representatives and organizations to help raise awareness about the ACP coming to an end.
When will the ACP stop accepting new applications and enrollments?
The last day for eligible households to apply for and enroll in the ACP is February 7, 2024 by 11:59 PM ET. Households that are enrolled with an internet company by this date and remain enrolled in the program will continue to receive their ACP benefits during the wind-down period.
Wind-Down - Households
What are the important dates I should be aware of regarding the ACP wind-down?
January 11, 2024: The FCC released an Order laying out wind-down processes and important dates including the enrollment freeze and the impacts on consumers, internet companies, and ACP Outreach Grant recipients.
- February 7, 2024: This is the last day the ACP will accept new applications and enrollments. Eligible households must be approved and enrolled with an internet company by 11:59 PM ET on February 7th to receive the ACP benefit. Starting February 8, 2024, there will be no more enrollments into the ACP.
- Starting late January 2024: Households that are currently receiving a monthly ACP benefit will start to receive notices from their internet companies with information about the end of the ACP benefit. This information will include timing of the end of the program and the impact of the loss of the benefit on the household's bill and service.
- April 2024: The FCC anticipates existing ACP funding to run out at the end of April 2024 if Congress does not provide additional funding. Consumers that are enrolled in the ACP will continue to receive their benefit on their internet service through April 2024. This date is an estimate and may change.
What does the "last fully funded month of the ACP" mean?
The phrase "last fully funded month of the ACP" refers to the last month ACP households will receive the full ACP benefit received in prior months. As funds for the ACP deplete, any remaining funds after the last fully funded month may be distributed the following month to benefit recipients on a reduced basis. This means that households may not receive the full $30 benefit. Your internet company will decide whether it will provide a reduced benefit. Contact your internet company for information on when you should last expect to see an ACP benefit on your monthly internet bill.
What happens if Congress provides additional funding for the ACP?
If Congress decides to provide more funding for the ACP, the FCC will provide further guidance and instructions on how the ACP will proceed at that time.
As a current household receiving the ACP benefit, what will the notices from internet companies to ACP households look like?
- Timing: Internet companies will send three (3) required written notices to their ACP households:
- You should have received the first notice by January 25, 2024;
- The second will be within 14 days after announcement by the FCC of the last fully funded month of the ACP; and
- The third will be simultaneous with the last bill/billing cycle in which the full ACP benefit is applied before the program ends.
- Format: Internet companies are encouraged to send notices in the same way they usually communicate with the household, including in the household's preferred language. You may receive these notices from your internet company by e-mail, text, in the mail, or along with your bill.
- Content: The first notice households will receive in January 2024 will tell households about the possible upcoming end of ACP and its potential impact to the ACP households' bills. The second and third notices must inform ACP households of the following:
- that the ACP is ending,
- the impact on their bill,
- the date of the last bill they will receive that includes the ACP benefit, and
- that they may change their service or opt-out of continuing service after the end of the ACP.
Are internet companies allowed to send more than three (3) notices to their consumers?
Yes, internet companies are welcome to send additional notices and are strongly encouraged to include additional information on any low-cost internet plans or how to obtain information on low-cost plans.
What other ways can I expect to learn about the ACP coming to an end?
ACP households will also receive direct notices from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the administrator of the ACP. Households can also visit fcc.gov/acp and AffordableConnectivity.gov for more information about the status of the ACP.
What should I do when my ACP benefit ends?
After the ACP ends, you will no longer get the monthly internet discount. Here is what you as a consumer can do now:
- Contact your internet company if you have questions about how the end of the ACP will affect your monthly bill and ask about the options available to you.
- Visit GetInternet.gov for more information and for further updates regarding your ACP benefit.
If I have questions about the ACP wind-down process, who should I contact other than my internet company?
Consumers should contact USAC directly for questions about the wind-down. Consumers can call the ACP Support Center at 877-384-2575 or go to GetInternet.gov for information about the status of the program. Consumers can continue to file complaints through the FCC's Consumer Complaint Center at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov about ACP billing and service issues.
What other FCC federal programs are available to me to receive a discount on my internet bill?
If you currently receive ACP benefits, you may still qualify for the Lifeline Program to save on internet service. The Lifeline Program is another federal program that makes phone and internet service more affordable. If you qualify for Lifeline, you can get a monthly benefit of:
- Up to $9.25 off the cost of phone, internet, or bundled services
- Up to $34.25 off the cost of phone, internet or bundled services if you live on qualifying Tribal Lands
What if I applied for the ACP benefit and am waiting to hear back about my application?
ACP applications will not be processed after February 7, 2024. If you have been asked to provide additional information or documentation, please make sure to do so as soon as possible to allow time for processing so that an eligibility determination can be made and you can sign up with an internet company by February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET. You are strongly encouraged to provide the missing information online at GetInternet.gov to get your documents approved as quickly as possible. ACP applicants are advised that communicating via mail may result in processing delays and may result in missing the enrollment deadline.
What happens if I qualified for the ACP but do not sign up with an internet company?
If you have an active qualified application for the ACP, but have not enrolled, contact your preferred internet company to enroll with them by February 7, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET. To check the status of your application, log into your account at GetInternet.gov or contact the ACP Support Center at 877-384-2575. You MUST apply your benefit with an internet company as soon as possible – BEFORE the 11:59 PM ET deadline on February 7, 2024 – to ensure you can get your monthly internet discount until the program ends.
If you qualified for the ACP, but you do not sign up with an internet company by February 7, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET, then you will no longer be able to enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program to receive the ACP benefit.
Will my internet company automatically sign me up for a different plan without my authorization?
Households that have affirmatively opted -in to continue receiving internet service after the end of the ACP will be able to continue to receive internet service from their internet company after the end of the ACP. To have affirmatively opted in, the household must (1) have acknowledged having reviewed the required disclosures about the ACP before signing up with their internet company to receive the ACP benefit, including that the household will be subject to the internet company’s undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions if the ACP ends and (2) demonstrated a willingness and ability to pay for broadband service.
Per the Commission’s ACP rules, households would need to have consented to signing up to receive the ACP benefit with an internet company after reviewing disclosures from the provider about the impact of the end of the program.
Households will have demonstrated a willingness and ability to pay for internet service by either 1) previously consented to receive internet service from their internet company after the end of the ACP; 2) paid for service from their internet company before they started receiving discounted internet service; or 3) currently contribute to the cost of their internet service even with the ACP benefit applied will be able to continue to receive internet service from their internet company after the end of the ACP. If you do not wish to receive internet service after the end of the ACP or would like to change your service plan, contact your internet company to discuss your options.
Households that 1) have not previously consented to receive internet service from their internet company after the end of ACP or 2) have not paid their internet company for service will not receive internet service from their internet company after the end of the ACP. If you do not want to lose your internet service after the end of the ACP, contact your internet company to opt in to continue to receive undiscounted service after the ACP ends.
After the ACP, households that will continue to receive internet service will be subject to their internet company’s undiscounted rates, along with the internet company’s general terms and conditions.
What consumer protections are available to ACP households during wind-down?
Existing ACP consumer protections remain in effect.
For more information, please visit https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/manage-my-benefit/protections-rules/.
Wind-Down - Outreach & Education
What resources will the FCC provide to outreach partners to also help inform consumers about the ACP coming to an end?
The FCC and USAC have provided updated materials for consumers and stakeholders. In addition to this FAQs document, the FCC also has a Fact Sheet (PDF) that is available for download.
What is the FCC doing to inform the households currently enrolled in the ACP?
The FCC's priority in this wind-down process is to ensure ACP households are well-informed about the end of the program, its impact on their internet bills, and to help ACP households stay connected after the ACP ends. The FCC will continue its partnerships with national and local representatives and organizations to help educate ACP households about ways to keep their internet services as they navigate from the ACP.
Who is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers), Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/202/811, Public Housing, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
- Participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program.
Can I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program if I have a past due balance with the provider?
Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.
Can I sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?
Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing customers of participating providers.
Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses. Learn more and find a household worksheet at AffordableConnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/what-is-a-household/
What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?
Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. Find out if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click "Do I Qualify?").
If I already receive Lifeline benefits will I automatically receive the Affordable Connectivity Program?
No. You must opt-in with your existing provider or request enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program with a participating internet provider and chose an eligible service plan. You can choose to receive the benefit from your current Lifeline service provider or another participating provider.
Can I receive both the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline benefits at the same time?
Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Affordable Connectivity Program service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home internet service that is supported through the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Everyone at my child's school receives breakfast and lunch at no cost. Do we qualify?
A household may enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program if its school participates in the Community Eligibility Provision or the household separately applied for and has been approved for benefits in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program. If a school is offering lunch or breakfast free to all students regardless of income based on a program other than the Community Eligibility Provision - such as through COVID-19 waivers extending the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) - then the household would not be eligible through the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program by virtue of an extension of the SSO or SFSP.
I live in a multi-unit dwelling (for example, an apartment building) and we pay the property manager/landlord a monthly fee for our internet. Can I get the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit?
Yes. If you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, talk to your property manager/landlord and ask that they work with their internet service provider to learn more about the benefits that might be available to you and other eligible residents.
I previously participated in a provider's low-income program, but I am no longer enrolled in that program. Does my past participation in that program qualify me for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Check with the provider for more information about whether you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Will I be able to use the service and the device if I have a disability?
The services and devices will be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. If you have any concerns about whether your internet service and equipment is accessible, contact the FCC's Disability Rights office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.
How to Apply
How do I get started with my application for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
You can go to GetInternet.gov to check your eligibility and start the application online. Eligible households can also enroll through an approved provider.
Which internet providers are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Various internet providers, including those offering landline and wireless services, will participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program. Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of providers. Check with the internet service providers in your area to learn about their plans for program participation. You can find participating providers in your area using the Companies Near Me Tool. You can search internet service providers by city, state/territory, or zip code.
Two Steps to Enroll
- Go to GetInternet.gov to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.
- Contact your preferred participating provider to select a service plan and have the discount applied to your bill.
How do I get started with my application for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Some providers may have an alternative application they will ask you to complete.
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
Can I apply directly with a provider?
Some participating providers have received approval from the FCC to use an alternative verification process and will be able to approve and enroll eligible households directly. Contact your preferred provider directly to learn about their application process.
Do I need to contact my preferred provider after my application is approved?
Yes, if you applied online at GetInternet.gov or by mail and have been approved, you need to contact your preferred service provider and select a service plan in order to begin receiving the monthly discount off your bill. If you want to apply the discount to service with your current internet service provider you will need to contact your provider after your application is approved.
If I submit an application by mail how will I know if I was approved and when can I contact a provider to start receiving the benefit?
If you submit an application to the Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center by mail, you will receive updates by mail regarding your application status (or by email if you provided an email address on your application). For example, USAC will contact you if additional information or documents are needed and if your application has been approved. Once you receive notification that you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can sign up for service with a participating provider following the instructions provided in the email or letter confirming your approval.
If I currently receive Lifeline benefits, do I need to apply?
If you are currently enrolled in Lifeline, you generally do not need to apply separately for the Affordable Connectivity Program. You can contact your current Lifeline provider or a different participating Affordable Connectivity Program provider serving your area to choose a service plan. Some participating providers may require that current Lifeline recipients complete an alternative verification process.
How is "household" defined for purposes of the Affordable Connectivity Program?
"Household" is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An "economic unit" is defined as "all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household." The Affordable Connectivity Program support is available to eligible low-income subscribers living in group living facilities. Applicants may be asked to complete a one-per-household worksheet, which asks questions about your household to determine if there is more than one household at your address. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one connected device discount per household. Learn more at AffordableConnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/what-is-a-household
What documentation do I need to provide when I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Consumers will need to provide documentation if their eligibility cannot be confirmed automatically by checking a program eligibility database (SNAP or Medicaid, for example). Documents you can use to prove your eligibility include:
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
- For federal Pell Grants, documents must include the student's first and last name, be from the student's school (college or university, community college, or career school) or the Department of Education, and show the student has received a Pell Grant for the current award year.
Applicants may also need to provide documentation to confirm their identity or address.
You can learn more about the documentation you may need to provide and how to submit it by visiting: AffordableConnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/show-you-qualify.
How can I prove my child is approved for the free and reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast program?
There are two different ways to prove your child is approved.
If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, select "Free and Reduced Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program" when applying online on the "Confirm You Qualify" page, then select the name of the school from the drop-down menu. Next, upload official school documentation that demonstrates that your child is enrolled at that school.
The documentation must include:
- The enrolled student's (benefit qualifying person's) name
- Name of the school
- The school year for which the student is enrolled
- School address and school contact information (phone number or email)
Examples of acceptable documentation include a student's report card or an official letter from the school or school district indicating the student's enrollment. The report card or official letter must meet the above requirements. Generic school notices that do not include the student's name and other required information are not sufficient to enroll in the program based on the CEP.
- If the student applied for and is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program, you can apply online by selecting "Free and Reduced Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program" on the "Confirm You Qualify" page. You will also be required to submit documentation, such as a letter from a school or school district confirming approval.
To qualify for the ACP, the documentation must be dated for the current school year or the school year immediately preceding your application for the ACP.
To qualify for ACP based on participation in the free or reduced price school lunch or breakfast program, including the CEP, the household's child or dependent must be a current student at the time the ACP application is submitted.
You can learn more about the documentation you may need to provide and how to submit it by visiting: AffordableConnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/show-you-qualify.
Who do I contact if I have a disability and need help applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance with your Affordable Connectivity Program application, contact the Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center via email at ACPSupport@usac.org or call 877-384-2575.
If you have a question about whether your Affordable Connectivity Program service and equipment is accessible, contact the FCC's Disability Rights Office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.
Where can I find more information on the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The information previously available at GetInternet.gov will continue to be available by accessing whitehouse.gov/getinternet.
How much does broadband service cost?
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount for internet service up to $30 per eligible household, or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands. The discount will be applied to your internet service, but the ultimate cost to you will depend on the service plan you select from a participating provider.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No, the Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount on internet service of up to $30 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly.
Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $30 per month (or $75 per month on Tribal lands)?
You may be able to do so. Ask your provider about the plans they have available as part of the Affordable Connectivity Program.
If the service plan I pick is $25 per month, do I get the extra money?
No. The provider is only reimbursed for the cost of the plan up to $30 per eligible household, or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands.
If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for internet service, do I pay the extra myself?
Yes. You are responsible for any amount over $30 per month (or over $75 per month on Tribal lands) for internet service under the Affordable Connectivity Program.
I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit to my monthly bill?
The Affordable Connectivity Program benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include internet, voice, texting and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.
How does the $100 device benefit work?
Participating internet service providers can be reimbursed up to $100 if they supply a connected device to a household, provided the household pays more than $10 but less than $50 for the device. In other words, to take advantage of this benefit, it must be done through your participating internet service provider, and you must contribute a portion of the cost. The device benefit is limited to a laptop, a desktop computer, or a tablet. It does not include cell phones, large phones, or "phablets" that can make cellular calls.
If my child and I are part of the same household, can we each get our own connected device through the Affordable Connectivity Program?
No. Each household is limited to a single device discount.
What is the enhanced benefit amount for residents of Tribal Lands?
Eligible households on Tribal lands can receive a total monthly discount of up to $75. You can find out more about which areas are eligible Tribal lands at AffordableConnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/enhanced-tribal-benefit/.
Do individuals have to be Tribal members to qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit?
No. Anyone living on eligible Tribal lands can receive the enhanced Tribal benefit. They do not need to be a member of a Tribe.
How do I know if my household is eligible for the enhanced Tribal benefit?
You can find out more about which areas are eligible Tribal lands at AffordableConnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/enhanced-tribal-benefit/.
Can I receive both the enhanced Tribal Lifeline Benefit and the $75 Affordable Connectivity Program each month?
Yes. An eligible household on Tribal lands can receive both the $34.25 Lifeline Tribal benefit and the $75 Affordable Connectivity Program benefit. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and internet service with the same or different providers as long as the provider is participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile service and a separate home internet service that is supported through the Affordable Connectivity Program.