In accordance with Congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Dec. 31st, 2021 officially launched the Affordable Connectivity Program, the $14.2 billion successor program to the *Emergency Broadband Benefit which helped almost 9 million afford internet access during the pandemic.
Eligible households are encouraged to apply to receive up to $30 per month discount toward internet service 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.
“The response to 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,” said FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Now with the long-term Affordable Connectivity Program, we have the opportunity to enroll even more households and help ensure they can afford the internet connections they need for work, school, health care and more for years.”
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC or Lifeline;
Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
*Emergency Broadband Benefit recipients fully enrolled as of December 31, 2021 will automatically continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. You can learn more the program transition and steps you may need to take to stay enrolled after March 1st, by visiting fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
Final program rules will be adopted by the Commission in January.
For more information about the Affordable Connectivity Program, please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/ACP.