Many US Citizens have been suffering from financial crises due to job loss or shut down. The federal government found that many people lost their income sources and shut down their jobs or business. Along with other needs, the internet is one of the basic demands for communication, education, entertainment, knowledge, services, and more. The Federal Government in the USA has started several initiatives to help people who are struggling during this pandemic. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) came up with a plan called the Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBB). With this program, eligible households used to get high-speed internet with a monthly discount of up to 50 dollars. So that they can stay connected with their jobs, studies, business, and many other services. But the temporary EBB project is now closed and FCC started the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The objective is the same, providing discounted internet and low-cost gadgets like tablets, laptops, and computers.
There are many wireless providers working as part of an Affordable Connectivity Program. Among them, CenturyLink strongly supports the goal of the FCC’s digital communicational benefit program. The mission of this program is to help low-income people with unlimited internet access. CenturyLink has this official commitment to aid households with affordable and high-speed internet. So that the households can stay connected to the services by joining this program. CenturyLink is a telecommunication company that provides broadband networks across 25 states. This company is continuously spending on providing Fiber Gigabyte Internet Network (high-speed internet up to 940Mbps.).
What is The CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) administrates the Affordable Connectivity Program through participating providers like CenturyLink. CenturyLink is participating in this program by offering a discount of up to $30 a month for eligible households. The households who live in Tribal areas get up to a $75 discount on their broadband usage. CenturyLink is a famous Fiber Gigabyte Internet Network provider and people trust them for their wide range of available speeds of up to 940Mbps. Not only the high speed but also, they use complete Wi-Fi with features (wireless modem using standard technology, Wi-Fi 6). You will be able to control your home network with the My CenturyLink app. CenturyLink is proud to be an approved ACP benefits provider which is designed to help low-income households to connect and stay connected in this financial unrest. Qualified households can apply to enroll in this program. Each household gets one temporary monthly benefit toward internet service.
So that the household members can continue their education, job, business, and overall communications. CenturyLink users also can receive one-time discount of up to 100 dollars while purchasing laptops, computers, or tablets. In that case, you have to pay between $10-$50 of the cost of that device, you can buy it through the broadband provider.
Who is Eligible For CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
A household can receive the broadband benefit with a discount after meeting these specific criteria. The Criteria are:
- If your income is below 200% of the federal poverty guideline, then you can apply as an eligible household.
- Your qualification for any of these Federal Lifeline programs will make you automatically eligible for ACP. Such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans survivor Pensions Benefits Fund, and more.
- If any student of your household gets the free and reduced-price school lunch/breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- If you are a receiver of the Federal Pell Grant in the current years.
- If you experienced substantial loss or got terminated or furloughed since February 29 of 2020, can be considered eligible to apply. There is a range of yearly income which also determines your eligibility. For a single filer, the total yearly income range is a maximum of 99,000 dollars. For joint filers, the yearly income should be below 198,000 dollars.
- Tribal Benefit programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance. Tribal Head Start, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Application Process for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The good thing is, the Federal Communication Commission announced that the Lifeline and EBB members automatically get the ACP if they apply. Households must submit their eligibility request with proper information the required documentation. If you think you meet any of the eligibility criteria then apply for the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). There are the following steps given below:
- STEP 1 : Complete the USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company) online verification
- Go to the USAC Verifier website https://acpbenefit.org/do-i-qualify/ and check your household’s eligibility status. The USAC will determine whether you are eligible for ACP. You will get a notification from the national verifier on your status.
- STEP 2 : Contact CenturyLink customer care to get a new ACP service. Call 866-642-0444 from 7 am to 9 pm on any day between Monday to Friday.
- Make sure that your current CenturyLink account is eligible for the ACP benefits. Don’t go to step 3 until you have talked with an agent.
- STEP 3 : Complete the CenturyLink form.
- To apply for the discount, you have to complete the CenturyLink form at https://www.centurylink.com/relief/
CenturyLink ACP Important Note
While completing the USAC National Verifier form, make sure you have given the same information for the primary holder of your CenturyLink account.
You will get one or more emails from CenturyLink after you have submitted the form. You will get a confirmation notice of approval. If you are not a CenturyLink user then sign up for CenturyLink service for your new internet connection.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can I get both the Lifeline benefit and ACP(Affordable Connectivity Program) benefit?
Yes, being a Lifeline customer, you are automatically eligible to get the ACP. But being a Lifeline customer doesn’t enroll you in this discount automatically. If you are already a Lifeline member, then you just need to ask for your ACP through CenturyLink. You have to complete the CenturyLink application for the permission of ACP.
Does the discount apply to the installation charge?
No, The ACP doesn’t cover installation costs. It only covers the service charges or equipment fees like modem and router rentals.
How long can I get the ACP service?
According to the FCC, this program will last for years. According to the FCC, EBB is already closed as it was a temporary benefit program and ACP is formed as a permanent program. ACP will be providing benefits to low-income households until they go through their financial struggles.
What happens when the EBB program ends?
EBB program was formed as a temporary initiative and closed already on 31st December 2021 as declared. CenturyLink notified all the customers before the expiration of EBB and informed the users about the new ACP if they want to enroll. So, EBB users can continue to get the broadband benefit through the ACP and stay with this program for years.
If the EBB program ends then what service will I get?
CenturyLink will ask all the participating customers to opt-in to continue the ACP benefits if the EBB program ends. The opt-in or opt-out is part of both the EBB program and ACP. CenturyLink has other plans and services, you can choose one of them with the new rate.
Although the EBB is a temporary program for low-income households, FCC is going to continue it with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). If you think you are eligible and in need of this discount offer then why not take it immediately. CenturyLink is happy to offer any assistance to its customers, especially during their financial hardships. Its existing high-speed internet network is reliable through the customer’s satisfaction and you will surely continue it even after the EBB terminates. So, take a monthly $30 discount on your internet service and get a $100 discount on a tablet or a laptop. Let the student of your household attend online classrooms, job seeker search jobs, elderly persons take health services virtually. This is how ACP can help you to continue living with the world virtually.