How the Affordable Connectivity Program keeps families connected nationwide
Nashville, Tennessee (May, 16, 2023) - For the past decade, many families, businesses, and community organizations have silently struggled to afford the broadband (high-speed internet) connection they need to complete simple, day-to-day tasks. Internet connection is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for our society to grow and improve.
The response to the ACP’s predecessor, the Emergency Broadband Benefit, proved what many knew to be true: the cost of high-speed internet is out of reach for too many of us. With the ACP, the FCC has expanded enrollment to include even more households, helping to ensure residents can afford the internet connections they need for work, school, health care and more.
So, what exactly is the ACP and what does it include?
According to the FCC website, The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
“This program helps family budgets breathe a little easier,” said FCC spokesperson Paloma Perez. “With the ACP, households do not have to make the tough choice between staying online and paying for gas or groceries.”
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have also spoken up about the issue of connectivity in our country, and showed their support for the ACP.
The following tweet is from President Biden @POTUS:
“High-speed internet isn’t a luxury anymore — it’s a necessity. For schoolwork, telemedicine, remote work, precision agriculture, and more. We’ve brought affordable internet to over 16 million households — and we won’t stop there.”
A household is eligible for the ACP if its income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria on the ACP website (click here for full list of criteria).
“To date, the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program has supported more than 17 million households nationwide with monthly internet bill discounts for qualifying low-income people and their families,” said Perez. “Take the first step by applying on the website.”
The FCC is currently working to enhance the ACP application process to make it more user friendly. The new enhancements are designed to reduce the time it takes to enroll by providing clear instructions, to decrease steps and to simplify language, while continuing to protect against waste, fraud and abuse, and guarding the integrity of the program.
“Even though more than 17 million households have enrolled … we aren’t stopping there,” said Perez. “We continue to look for ways to reach more people who could benefit from its support.”
About the Author: Lily McCoy is the Connected Nation Social Media and Communications Specialist. Lily provides support to the Communications Department through social media outreach and writing. She also adds a source of creativity to the team with a background in personal relations and marketing. Lily has a bachelors in corporate and organizational communications from Western Kentucky University.