ACP helps people access internet service

Some low-income people might have trouble affording access to broadband service to their homes.

That is why the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is offering help to pay for access if residents’ income levels qualify.

The $14.2-billion 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill was recently passed by the U.S. Congress.

The ACP benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 monthly for households on qualifying tribal lands.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop computer, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The ACP is meant to increase digital equity by ensuring households have the connections they need for work, school, health care and more. The ACP can also be combined with existing assistance programs offered by various providers.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the ACP, a household must rely upon one or more of the following kinds of assistance:

• Have an income that is below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

• Participate in certain assistance programs such as SNAP (food assistance), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, EWIC or Lifeline.

• Participate in tribal-specific programs such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF or the Food Distribution Program on Native American reservations.

• Be approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school-lunch program or the school breakfast program in the current or immediately preceding school year.

• Received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year.

• Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

How to enroll

There are three steps to enroll in the ACP:

Complete and submit an online or mail-in application that can be accessed at ACPBenefit.org.

Contact a participating provider to select an internet plan and have the ACP discount.

Contact the ACP Support Center at 877-384-2575.

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