Affordable Connectivity Program
What is it?
Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), to help eligible households meet their digital needs during the pandemic and for the next five years.
The program pays your bill for service for eligible households up to $30 per month for broadband and a one-time discount of up to $100 towards a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. (A household is a group of people who live together and share money, while those who live together and do not share money are each their own separate household.) For many folks, this means FREE internet service.
Please note: If you participated in the Emergency Broadband Program, you were automatically enrolled into the Affordable Connectivity Program and do not need to re-apply. After March 1, 2022, the maximum monthly benefit will change from EBB’s $50 per month to ACP’s $30 per month.
Who is eligible?
Households with income at or below 200% of the national poverty line.
Households where any member falls into one of these categories:
- You participate in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, WIC, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefits, or Lifeline.
- You participate in one of several Tribal programs.
- You received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- You received benefits through a school lunch or breakfast program.
Households where any member meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income program.
How to apply
Step 1: Submit an application one of three ways
- Online at AffordableConnectivity.gov through the Lifeline National Verifier service. To apply online, you:
- Need an email address
- Must create an application account using a username and password.
- You will receive application updates from "Lifeline National Verifier" via email and by checking your application account. If you cannot finish your application, you are able to save it and return later.
- May be asked to upload supporting documents, such as a tax document, Social Security statement of benefits, or other program document that has your name, information, and a date on it. More examples can be found here.
- Note: It must be the most up-to-date version with the year "2022" on it, or "2021" if you have not received this year's version yet.
- Through the mail in either English or Spanish.
- Printable mail-in applications can be found above and on the side of this page
- You do not need an email address to apply via mail
- You can include supporting documents with your application when you mail it
- Same as above, more examples can be found online.
- Contact a broadband provider directly.
- Use this online tool to find a participating provider near you if you do not have one
Step 2: Contact your current or new internet provider to apply the ACP benefit to your bill
After your application is approved, you must take the 11-digit application ID number that is assigned to you and ask your current or new internet provider to add the discount to your bill. The ID number starts with a letter and is followed by ten numbers. Once your company does this, you will see a "-$30" charge on your bills for the foreseeable future and be saving money in no time!
Please note: Applying online is the fastest method, as you will hear back about your status within minutes, and it assigns you an application ID number right as you create an application. Applying through the mail can take at least two weeks to hear back and you do not get your application ID number until you receive a response.
Things to remember
- You only have to apply and enroll once, but it is important to highlight that you must utilize your internet service regularly and provide proof of eligibility annually, otherwise you will lose the benefit.
- The ACP benefit can only be applied to the internet portion of your bill. This is relevant if you receive a service "bundle" from your company (ex. cable and phone service).
- This discount can be applied to either your in-home Wi-Fi or your mobile device bills, whichever you prefer and however you receive internet service, as long as your company participates in the ACP. You cannot double-dip.
- Folks who pay $30 or less for internet service will get FREE internet service with the ACP.
- Folks who also receive the Lifeline phone service are automatically eligible for the ACP and can combine the $9.25 they receive for Lifeline with the $30 they receive from ACP to save a total of $39.25 each month.
- If you no longer qualify for the ACP or if you change your internet provider, you must notify your current internet provider within 30 days.
- If you have any issues with the ACP, you can ask a question or file a complaint through the FCC website.
Are you a City of Boston resident who wants to find out more about the ACP? If so, check out the program website, call Boston’s Broadband and Cable Office at 617-635-3112, or email Digital.Equity@boston.gov