During this Pandemic, the Federal Government in the USA has taken many initiatives to let people live with hope and without fear. One of the great initiatives that fit this era of virtual communication is the Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB program. The FCC again launched another subsidy initiative named the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in place of the EBB program. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) planned these sorts of benefit programs to facilitate low-income people with high-speed internet at an affordable rate.
With the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit, specified households get unlimited data with a monthly discount. But the FCC is not implementing this program on its own. The prominent internet Service providers nationwide came together to implement Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) towards low-income households. FCC set up some eligibility criteria so that the selection of the households is done properly and to make sure they get the benefits. The benefits consist of unlimited data, text, call, free smartphones, and discounted tablets.
Viasat, a satellite network-based internet provider, has joined this program along with other ISPs with all its efforts to enhance customer service in remote areas. Viasat in this program aims to bridge between corporate service and corporate responsibilities in the country. You also can enroll in this program that meets the FCC criteria. Eligible existing customers can switch to Viasat ACP through the enrollment process. Here we are going to elaborate on information about how to get the Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that you need to know about taking the benefits.
What is Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Viasat is one of those providers who understand the importance of access to the internet and stepped forward without any hesitation to provide discounted internet. As a satellite broadband provider, Viasat has always been playing a role in lessening the digital divide in America.
Viasat has already reached remote mountain areas providing connectivity with high-speed internet. It has provided many Americans with EBB discounts successfully. This success from the Viasat team inspired them to participate in the new Affordable Connectivity Program and provide financially-stuck households with discounted internet. Every Viasat ACP applicant gets a $30 monthly discount on internet usage. This program from FCC allows unlimited data, text, and calls. But, households in tribal lands get a $75 discount on their monthly bill.
Another great part is that Viasat provides high-speed data with 100 Mbps download speed. Viasat provides a facility of better viewing experience with higher video resolution. Some providers also offer free smartphones and tablets with up to a $100 discount. To get ACP, first, you have to check your eligibility through the National Verifier. Then your eligibility will automatically take you to the benefits program. After successful application and enrollment with the Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit, you will get a monthly discount on the internet service.
How do I Qualify Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The households who have been struggling to cope with the pandemic situation can now stay connected through affordable internet. The household members can search for new jobs, attend online classrooms, and take health services online. You need to take the National Verifier’s pre-qualification test to obtain Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) approval. For the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, here are some of the certain eligibility criteria mentioned below.
- If any member of your household enjoys the Lifeline benefits, then you are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Other government assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Federal public housing assistance, and Veterans survivor Pensions Benefits Fund should make you as Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligible.
- The household income should be less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This income range is regarded as low-income and these types of households are eligible for the Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits.
- The yearly income of your household in 2021 should meet the FCC guidelines to apply for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits. This yearly income total may vary depending on the state you live in. As an example, for an individual living in Alaska should have an income of $32,180 maximum. But in Hawaii, it is a maximum of $29,640. For a household consisting of 3 or 4 members, the income size is $54,900 and in Alaska $50,520 in Hawaii.
- If anyone lost a job or got a termination letter or was furloughed since February 29 of 2020 will be considered for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
- any student of your household who qualifies for free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- who received a federal Pell Grant in the current years can apply as eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits.
- Tribal Benefit programs refer to the eligibility of the EBB program:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
- Tribal Head Start
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
- Tribal TANF (Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Anyone who lives on any tribal land and meets any of the above qualifications will receive a $75 discount on their internet bill.
Enrollment Process of Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Federal Communications Commission announced that the Lifeline members will automatically get the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). If you are already a Lifeline or EBB member, then you just need to ask for your Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through your existing provider. If you are enjoying any of Covid-19 automatically consider you for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). In that case, your provider has to be authorized by the FCC. FCC recommends you contact your internet service provider to provide you with the ACP program. They will help you in your enrollment process. But, first, you have to check your eligibility through the (USAC) Universal Administrative Service Company. Generally, starting with the National Verifier, you will have to go through the instructed process of application. The complete instructions for Viasat customers are:
- Go to the (USAC) Universal Administrative Service Company website usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program and check your household’s eligibility status. You will get a notification saying whether you are eligible or not. After confirming your eligibility, you will have to submit your relevant documents in your application process.
- After the successful application, call Viasat customer care at 1-800-590-4064. They will confirm your eligibility and implement the discount offer to your account. The customer care number is open from 7 am to 7 pm every Monday to Friday cycle.
- When you are done with your application, Viasat will send you a confirmation email with the details of the benefits.
But if you are not a Viasat user or a new applicant, then you can apply online through affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply. Here you can apply and fill up the forms following the easy instructions. There are options in both English and Spanish. You will have to submit the documents against your household’s eligibility claim for ACP. You can also apply through a printed copy of the application form. The USAC will email you an application form which you will have to download and print. After approval, you can now choose Viasat as your ACP benefit provider. Just call Viasat at (866)362-3255 and tell them your options.
You Need These Documents To Provide For The Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
If you think your household should qualify, then you will have to show some proof of documentation such as proof of income, approval letters, and others. Those documents are required for the USAC’s verification process. You have to prove your identity and fulfill the requirements to be eligible. Provide one of the copies of the documents listed below:
- Tribal Identification Number
- Government-issued ID (State ID, PR ID)
- US Driver’s license
- U.S Military ID
- Taxpayer Identification Number (Individual)
- Previous year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement
- A Social security statement of benefits
- Veterans administration statement of benefits
- Unemployment or worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
- Divorce decree, child support award, or other official documents that show your income
- A retirement or pension statement of benefits
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How Long Will The Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program last?
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this program will last for years as it is not a temporary program like the EBB was. FCC introduced the EBB program in temporary form but Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is going to be a permanent form. This means the eligible individuals or households can enjoy the monthly subsidy until they recover from their financial hardships.
What Happens When the Affordable Connectivity Program Ends?
If you want to continue with the Viasat internet service when the program ends, then call customer care and let them know your options. Then your monthly fee will be subject to Viasat’s general terms and conditions. But, remember that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is going to provide you monthly subsidy for many years. So, you don’t need to think of any alternative internet benefit.
What Will I Do if I Don’t Qualify Viasat Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
Viasat doesn’t verify the eligibility. The national verifier determines whether the household is eligible or not. However, you can call the ACP support center (877)384-2575 or visit usac.org to review, and to know details regarding your eligibility. But Viasat has offers for other government aid programs like Lifeline and other programs.
Can I Upgrade to a Better Plan?
There are so many plans available. You can upgrade to a different plan easily. To check the available plan, visit my.viasat.com or you may call at (800)590-4064 to talk with a customer representative. You may work with an agent to get a lower-priced available plan.
Viasat has already been recognized as the best internet service provider to remote areas where households suffer digital division. its satellite internet delivers wireless networks to every corner of the United States. Its network facilities have been effective especially during this pandemic as people tend to be more dependent on the internet and everything has been done online. Since the FCC initiated the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for low-income and underserved households, Viasat has dedicated all network technologies at full force to provide high-speed internet to those households.
You can still enroll in Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) if you think you are eligible. Then you can stay connected to the job, education, and other services. Since Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a permanent program, Viasat will continue to deliver discounted high-speed internet until the federal government’s expiration announcement.