How To Switch Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Provider

The internet service provider industry is highly competitive. Technology is constantly evolving and new service providers are entering with new features and higher speed. But they always have to rearrange their services according to the market flow and situation. The Covid-19 was that kind of situation that forced telecommunication service providers to provide people with affordable services. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) formed the EBB program to provide subsidies for monthly internet and connected devices. Hundreds of internet service providers around the country joined the program last year. After closing the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program in December 2021, FCC then came back with the (ACP) Affordable Connectivity Program for low-income households. Now Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program is changed to Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) but this time as a permanent program.

The internet service providers provide the highest service so that no one gets deprived of broadband internet. Although the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is aimed to facilitate low-income households, still customers are facing problems from the provider’s side. That is why there is this option where you can cut off your connection with the current Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider and switch to a new one. It means Affordable Connectivity Program recipients can switch providers at any time easily. As we said earlier, many internet providers are offering ACP programs, you can choose a convenient one if you have issues with the current plans or speed. 

However, since we tend to deal with good services, the new internet provider you will choose should be better than the current one. We will make it easy for you to deal with the switching and how to switch the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider here in this article.

Why Does a Customer Switch to an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Provider?

Customers usually switch their internet service providers for a variety of reasons. One of them is the interrupted services by the providers. An internet user always wants uninterrupted service to accomplish their daily work. People are now more into the internet as the pandemic has forced us to work online. Everything has been done on the internet nowadays. Even the first graders have to depend on the internet to attend their virtual classrooms. Working from home is now a common phenomenon.

So continuing services from the internet service providers is a common requirement from the user end. Nobody wants to cut off from the ongoing or active connection. This is why Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) beneficiaries get bored when they experience any interruption in their internet connections. On the other hand, speed is the technological demand. The more speed the more time savings. A speedy connection allows the job to be done in a short amount of time, thereby saving valuable time. Besides, video calling and group video conferences require higher speed to get better audio and video quality so that everyone in the connection gets the clear experience of video conferences.

Internet plan is another essential fact that a customer considers when meeting the monthly budget. Affordable plans make these customers opt-in. Since Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is for low-income Americans, internet deals would not be sustainable without an affordable plan for those customers. So, beyond the 50 dollars discount monthly, an affordable plan is also considerable. 

When Should You Switch to a New Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Provider?

People should consider their specific needs while choosing the participant provider for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) discount. Then they should opt-in. Because a monthly $30 discount is not the only facility that can help you to meet your requirement. There are other factors such as the speed, quality of service, and the monthly plan. So, if you are having trouble accomplishing your daily task due to lack of any of those factors, only then you can think of changing your current Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider.

Before switching the provider, you have to take time to let the provider deal with the issue. If it is a low-speed issue then let them fix it. If the connection is interrupted frequently then ask customer care to deal with it. They should fix the issue within a short time. But you can switch if the provider fails to take good care of your problem. Please remember that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a permanent program and will continue for years. Make sure your decision to switch your Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider is effective for the long run. 

What Should You Consider Before Switching To A New Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Provider?

There are many factors that you should think about before choosing a new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider. First, you have to consider your exact needs. I mean what exactly causes you trouble with your current ACP provider. The speed, the location, or the cost might make you upset with your current provider. So, you must look for those good features in a new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider. 

Internet providers use different types of internet technology in need of different customers. Fiber optic is the speediest internet connection in the world. If you want the ultimate speed from your provider, then look for an internet service provider with advanced fiber-optic technology. It offers up to 1 Gbps speed in both downloading and uploading protocols. On the other hand, cable internet offers a usual speed of up to 200 Mbps. Some providers offer up to 1 Gbps but prioritize the upload speed over the download speed. Satellite internet is for the people living in remote areas where facilitating the cable or fiber internet is tough. Since the logistics in those areas are difficult to handle, speeds are limited around up to 30 Mbps. There are only two companies that provide satellite internet to remote areas in the US. 

Since every provider has their profile, you can compare their internet services and determine which one is right for you based on your needs. The reputation of the internet providers should be taken into consideration also. You can read their reviews and talk to people who use those providers’ services. Since Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) will last long, you should consider the regular contract so that you can continue with the provider for years. Then finally switch to a new provider and sign in only when you are satisfied with the preview.

How to Switch Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Provider? 

The FCC keeps it open for the ACP beneficiaries to change the company that provides ACP benefits. You must do good research to change your current provider to a new provider. Make sure the new provider offers what you are looking for. Let your current provider know that you are going to close the deal. Then follow the instructions from this article below.  

Fortunately, you can switch your Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider. Here are some simple steps you should follow. 

Research new providers

The very first step is researching the new provider in your area. Check which service provider is available near you. You may search for an internet provider by zip code. Make sure the provider you are selecting ensures high-quality service and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) participation. 

Contact your current provider to close the deal

Before enrolling in a new provider, you must contact your previous service provider about the contract or payment issues. Companies don’t want to lose any of their customers. They will try to keep you as their customer. If you are determined to switch then close the deal with them.Don’t forget to pay all previous bills of your current provider.  

Transfer

The provider will perform a “transfer” transaction in the national Lifeline accountability database (NLAD) if a customer has received Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and now wants to enroll with a new provider. The “transfer” process is almost like an enrollment process. Customers of the current service provider don’t have to re-enroll or take other steps in NLAD for the new service provider to transfer ACP. Here is the transfer process below:

Standard Batch template

Service providers must complete the required fields below through the NLAD batch upload process or NLAD API process. 

Transaction type: transfer, Transaction effective date, Sac, Last name, First name, Last 4 SSN or trialed (who used alternative identity verification), Phone number or Customer email, Dob, Service type, Primary address, Primary city, Primary state, Primary zip code, Mailing address, Service initialization date, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Tribal Benefit Flag (for customers that qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit), Device Reimbursement date (if applicable), Device type (if applicable), Device make (if applicable), Certain, Rapid or repNOTAssited. 

If the customer qualified through a benefit qualifying person, the service provider must include the following fields to complete while transferring. 

  • bqpLastName
  • Bqp FirstName
  • bqpDob
  • BqpLast 4 SSN or triballed 

Application ID batch template/ API submission process

Service providers who choose to transfer customers to NLAD using the application ID must follow the required fields below. 

Application ID, Transaction type: transfer, Transaction effective date, Sac, Last name, First name, Phone number or Customer email, Dob, Service type, Service initialization date, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Tribal Benefit Flag (for customers that qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit), Device Reimbursement date (if applicable), Device type (if applicable), Device make (if applicable), Certind, Repid or repNOTAssited. 

Contact at Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) support center

Regarding transferring issues, contact any representative of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) helpline at 833-511-0311, for general program support. Customers may visit https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/manage-my-benefit/; for any queries service provider will mail at ACPElection@usac.org and customers should email at ACPHelp@usac.org. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) 

Should I switch to a new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider?

You will decide whether your current provider is appropriate for you or not. Make sure you are facing serious trouble currently. Remember, almost all providers follow the same rules for the ACP benefit. 

How can I switch internet providers without losing the internet?

If you are concerned about losing the internet, then overlapping your service by a few days is the best way. This process allows you to get a new service before your previous one is disconnected. In that case, you have to pay for those specific days. 

Where can I contact regarding transfer issues?

If you have any questions related to the transfer issue, then contact the federal government’s ACP helpline at (833)-511-0311, between 9 am to 9 pm for 7 days. 

Can I receive the Lifeline service from one provider and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) from another? 

Yes, you can receive Lifeline from one provider and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) from another. Because, as per FCC’s eligibility requirement, you are eligible for both programs. In that case, the provider will not make issues regarding this matter. 

Should I cancel my internet service before requesting a transfer?

ACP recipients can transfer to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) anytime without hassle. You don’t need to cancel your current monthly service before requesting the transfer.  

Final Word

No matter what provider you are using for the ACP, you can change it at any time. If you want to switch providers, there are no bindings and restrictions from the FCC. The FCC allows users to get ACP easily, switch providers easily and cancel ACP easily. ACP is a pandemic relief and limited-time offer. If ACP ends, you have to continue at your regular provider price. Considering the features of your providers, you can make a final decision whether you switch your provider or not. Neither your service provider nor the FCC will interfere with you on this matter. Before switching providers, make sure you have paid all previous bills of your current provider. You can even receive Lifeline from one provider and the ACP from another.