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The Affordable Connectivity Program - or ACP - is a federal government assistance program administered through the FCC. The purpose of the ACP is to help low-income households with the cost of broadband service.
The ACP consists of a $30 monthly service discount on your internet or cell phone plan ($75 if you qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit or live in a high-cost area). The program also includes a one-time discount on a connected device.
If you're just hearing about the ACP or you're ready to apply but have questions, we've got you covered with common Affordable Connectivity Program FAQs.
ACP eligibility FAQs
The first place to start is by determining if you're eligible and how you can apply for the ACP.
How can I qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
There are several ways to be eligible for this Internet assistance program.
Household income eligibility
You can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit if your household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Assistance program eligibility
You may also be eligible if any household member participates in certain government assistance programs, such as:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- Federal housing assistance
- Free or Reduced-Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program
- Federal Pell Grant (in the current award year)
You may qualify for the Enhanced Tribal Benefit if you live on qualifying Tribal lands or participate in certain Tribal-specific initiatives, such as:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Learn more about the ACP and eligibility criteria in our comprehensive guide, What is the ACP? How do I qualify?
Do we qualify for the ACP if my child's school provides free meals?
Eligibility depends on whether the free meals are provided under the Community Eligibility Provision or are the result of an approved application for free or reduced-price school meals. If the school offers free meals through other programs, like COVID-19 waivers, you won't qualify.
How do I prove my child receives free school meals?
When applying online, you'll choose the relevant program in the dropdown menu. You may need to provide an official school document showing the child's name, school, school year, and school address and contact information.
What is the definition of "Household" for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A "household" consists of individuals residing at the same address and sharing income and expenses.
How to apply for the ACP FAQs
There are three ways to apply, including online and by mail.
How do I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
- Apply online: Go to Get Internet and click the Apply button. The system will guide you through the process step-by-step.
- Apply by mail: Download and print out the Household Worksheet available at the link above and mail it to the address provided on the form.
- Apply through a participating provider: Some internet service providers offer their own application that you can complete in order to do everything in one place. Find ACP companies in your area to choose a provider.
What documents do I need to apply for the ACP?
Required documentation may vary. Examples of documents you might need include:
- Proof of identity
- Benefit award letters
- Approval letters
- Statement of benefits
- Documents that verify your child's enrollment in free or reduced-price school meals
See how to apply for ACP for complete instructions, including a list of documents you must gather before applying.
Can I apply for the ACP with a past-due balance?
Yes, you can still enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program if you have an overdue or collections balance.
How will I know my mail-in application was approved?
The program will notify you about the status of your application in the mail or via email if you've provided an email address. This will include information on whether you need to submit additional documents or details.
Should I submit a separate ACP application if I'm enrolled in Lifeline?
No, you don't need to fill out the ACP application, although certain providers may require validation of your participation in the Lifeline program.
What to do after ACP approval FAQs
Once you find out you've been approved for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you may have questions about using the program. Here are answers to some of the most common queries.
Should I contact my internet service provider once approved?
Yes, after receiving ACP approval, you'll need to choose an internet service plan with either your existing provider or a different participating internet service provider.
Find out more about Affordable Connectivity Program providers.
Do Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program benefits stack?
Yes, both benefits can be used together, either on the same service or on different services with the same or different participating providers.
Can I use the ACP benefit on bundled services?
Yes, you can use the discount on a package that includes multiple services; however, it will only pay for the internet portion of your bill. You're responsible for extras like cable TV service.
Can I use the ACP on my cell phone plan?
Absolutely! As long as the carrier is a participating provider and your plan includes data, your benefit can be applied to your cell phone bill.
Even better, if you switch to a low-cost carrier (called an MVNO), you can choose service on the AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon networks and potentially get a free cell phone plan with your ACP discount.
MVNOs provide 4G LTE and 5G wireless coverage on the most trusted networks, plus their prices are so low that you'll likely end up paying nothing or close to it. You'll find flexible prepaid phone plans designed to fit all different needs.
Who can I contact for ACP assistance if disabled?
You can contact the ACP Support Center via email at ACPSupport@usac.org or call 877-384-2575.
ACP device discount FAQs
In addition to a monthly internet discount, the Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $100 off a connected device.
How does the device discount work?
Eligible households may use a one-time $100 discount for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. You must make a copay of more than $10 and less than $50, and you must purchase the device from the same internet provider you're using for your monthly service discount.
Can each family member use the device discount?
No, only one device discount per eligible household is allowed.
Head over to our guide to the ACP laptop program to learn more, including resources on using your benefit.
The ACP qualification and application process can seem daunting, given all of the information there is to take in. We promise, though, it really is easy to apply, and once you're approved, you'll be able to get - or stay - connected without breaking the bank.