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Struggling to meet your internet bills can be incredibly stressful. In today's world, reliable internet access is a necessity, whether it's for work, banking, or accessing healthcare services.

Here's the good news: the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers financial assistance to help low-income households cover the costs of home internet or cell phone service. In many cases, qualified households can receive free internet.

In this guide, I'll walk you through the essentials of the ACP as well as how to use your benefit to get free Verizon home internet.

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal government initiative designed to provide affordable internet access to low-income households.

Eligible households can benefit from:

  • A discount of up to $30 per month on a home internet or phone plan with data
  • A discount of up to $75 per month for those residing on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 on a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet when you contribute a copay of between $10 and $50 to the purchase price

Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

You can qualify for the ACP with a household income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or below.

Alternatively, you may be eligible if a member of your household participates in certain qualifying federal assistance programs such as:

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Medicaid
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  • FPHA (Federal Public Housing Assistance)
  • Free or reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program
  • Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit

Additionally, specific Tribal programs can automatically qualify you for the ACP, including:

  • Tribal assistance programs
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal TANF
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

For details on full eligibility criteria, please refer to our guide. Do you qualify for ACP?

If you live on qualifying Tribal lands, get more information about the enhanced Tribal benefit, which provides up to a $75 monthly service discount.


Verizon's Affordable Connectivity Program

Verizon is a bit unique in terms of its low-income internet initiatives. This provider participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program. On top of that, they offer a program called Verizon Forward, which works alongside the ACP to provide additional discounts.

Here's what you can expect from Verizon's ACP and Verizon Forward program offerings:

Verizon ACP internet plans

Verizon Fios home internet prices for eligible households range from $0 to $50 per month (with both ACP and Verizon Forward applied).

All plans provide high-speed internet, with the minimum sitting at 300 Mbps.

Additionally, Verizon provides:

  • Free setup
  • No data caps
  • No contract
  • Up to $500 for early termination fees from your current provider

One disadvantage of the Verizon home internet service, however, is that it's only available in a limited number of large metro areas.

Verizon ACP phone plans

If you prefer a Verizon wireless plan, you can also use the Affordable Connectivity Program and Verizon Forward benefits.

Your copay after the ACP discount will fall between $0 and $30 per month for Verizon prepaid or postpaid phone service. It's helpful to note that the price for your phone plan will only be $0 on the lowest plan if you're activating multiple lines.

Alternative Verizon ACP phone plans

While Verizon participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program, you may not be aware that some low-cost carriers, known as MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), also participate in the program.

Opting for a Verizon MVNO can offer you more value for your ACP benefits.

For example, with Red Pocket Mobile, you can get one of these Verizon phone plans:

  • 20GB of data per month for free
  • Unlimited data plan for around $10 a month

Twigby is another ACP participating provider that offers 4G LTE and 5G wireless coverage on the Verizon network. Twigby ACP plans include:

  • Unlimited data for around $5 a month
  • Free international calling to 80+ countries

Verizon MVNO advantages

Choosing an MVNO alongside your program benefit offers several advantages, including:

  • No contracts
  • Add-ons and perks, like mobile hotspot data usage
  • Bring your own phone option
  • Freedom to switch carriers at any time.

If you don't meet the Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility requirements, switching to a budget-friendly carrier is an even savvier option, saving you up to $700 a year on your wireless bill.


How to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program

To apply for the ACP:

  • Visit the Get Internet website and click the "Apply" button.
  • Once you're approved, contact your preferred participating provider to enroll.
  • Select your cell phone plan to activate your ACP discount.

We've got a complete guide to how to apply for ACP, including additional documentation you might need to provide and how to submit a mail-in application.


Verizon Affordable Connectivity Program FAQs


Recap

The ACP is increasing digital inclusion for households that may not otherwise be able to afford internet access. Verizon is an Affordable Connectivity Program provider, offering both home internet (in limited areas) as well as cell phone service.

Alternatively, you can get more for your ACP benefit by bringing it to a participating Verizon MVNO. Apply now to determine if you qualify and start enjoying the benefits of this valuable program.

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