Affordable Connectivity Program, also known as ACP, is a government program that is operated by the federal communications commission to reduce the cost of internet services and connectivity devices for low-income families around the country. This program was initiated on December 31, 2021, as a long-term program to help low-income consumers and individuals that lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. Note that ACP was initiated to take over EBB (Emergency broadband Benefit program).
EBB was also a Government-funded program that was initiated to help low-income consumers afford broadband services for health care, school work or online businesses in the US. The federal communication commission announced that interested parties can start enrolling for EBB on May 12, 2021. If you had an income below 135% of the federal poverty guideline, you were qualified to enroll for EBB. Also, you qualified if you were enrolled in any government aid programs like Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. On the 30th of December 2021, FCC terminated enrollment for the EBB program and directed all enrolled EBB households to continue receiving monthly discounts under ACP within 60 days transition period. Therefore, ACP was initiated as a long-term program on 31st Dec of 2021. In this guide, we will discuss how long affordable connectivity will program last and the benefits associated with it.
Is The ACP Permanent?
No. ACP is not permanent. However, Congress created ACP as a long-term program that will operate until $14 billion allocated funds are depleted. Once these funds deplete, consumers expect to get updates from the government on whether the program will continue or not. Therefore, ACP is not a permanent program. Instead, it’s a long-term program.
Can I Get More Benefit From ACP Than EBB?
As stated earlier, ACP was created to help eligible households afford broadband services for work, healthcare, and school. As long as you come from a low-income family with a total household income below 200% of the federal poverty guideline, you qualify to receive ACP discounts on your internet services. These are discounts like $30 monthly discounts towards interest services, $75 monthly internet discounts if the household is on tribal land, and up to $100 to offset the prices of devices like tablets, laptops, and computers.
Note that ACP benefits were reduced. When EBB was operational, eligible households would receive up to $50 monthly discounts towards their interest services. Therefore, benefits from ACP are less than EBB benefits.
However, you are likely to get additional benefits from ACP-participating service providers. For instance, ACP providers like Qlink wireless provide additional benefits like free phones and unlimited text and talk services.
How Do I Convert EBB To ACP?
As per FCC directives, consumers that were enrolled for EBB needed to take no action to convert their EBB benefits to ACP, EBB-eligible households automatically converted to ACP with no action taken even after the transaction period ended on March 1, 2022. Therefore, there is no procedure for converting EBB to ACP as the process happens automatically.