What is the ACP Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps households afford and access the broadband internet connectivity they need for work, school, healthcare and more essential needs.
Increasing accessibility to the internet and removing barriers to entry has never been more important. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government created a program to make bring online connectivity within reach for eligible households for whom it would otherwise be unaffordable, heavily subsidizing the cost of broadband service and the purchase price for devices that could help people connect to jobs, essential healthcare, virtual classrooms and more.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the program has evolved to address ongoing needs for online accessibility and to extend support to households who are in need.
Designed as a permanent extension of the Emergency Broadband Benefit, the Affordable Connectivity Program replaced the EBB on December 31, 2021. Congress mandated the creation of the ACP as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which became law in November 2021.
The ACP continues to provide eligible households with a discount on broadband services and connected devices, but with changes from the EBB such as program eligibility criteria and the program benefit amount. The new law also gave express authorization to the FCC to conduct outreach for the ACP, including grand provision to outreach partners, to increase awareness of the ACP, specifically among recipients of federal housing assistance.
According to the FCC, a household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household 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 below:
The ACP is meant to make broadband accessible and affordable for those in need, and that means removing barriers to entry. The FCC rules to protect ACP recipients include: