What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Access from AT&T
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AT&T Internet
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Up to
$30.00
/mo
Up to 100 Mbps
No annual contract
In-home Wi-Fi
Cox Connect2Complete
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Cox Internet
3 out of 5 stars
3
$9.95
/mo
Up to 100 Mbps
EasyConnect self-install
Free Wi-Fi modem
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Spectrum Internet® Assist 50Mbps
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Spectrum Internet®
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Verizon Forward Program
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4.5
Up to
$49.99
/mo
300–940 Mbps
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No data limits
Xfinity Internet Essentials
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4.25
$9.95–$29.95
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50–100 Mbps
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Free Wi-Fi modem
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Brenna Elieson
Apr 04, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income families stay connected to the internet. 

The ACP provides a $30 monthly subsidy to cover your internet costs (or a $75 monthly subsidy if you live on Tribal lands). It also includes a one-time discount of up to $100 on a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

We've sorted through all the details to help you figure out whether you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program and answer any questions you may have.

Guide to the Affordable Connectivity Program:

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The ACP is ending: What now?

The ACP's funding is expected to run out at the end of April 2024, after which "enrolled households will no longer receive the program discounts," according to the FCC.

What happens if ACP ends?

Unless Congress approves funds to sustain the Affordable Connectivity Program, former users will see their monthly internet bills go up. As the FCC states, "After the ACP ends, you will no longer get the monthly internet discount." Contact your current internet provider for more information about how the end of the ACP will affect your internet bill.

How can I help the ACP keep running?

The best way to keep the ACP alive is to call your Congressional representative and tell them to support the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act. This bipartisan bill will give $7 billion in short-term funding to the ACP program from the Treasury Department. 

Many government officials oppose ending the ACP. "Access to high-speed internet isn't a luxury anymore; it's a necessity," states Vermont Senator Peter Welch, a co-sponsor of the bill. "That's why it's never been so important to avoid this funding cliff and extend the ACP.

Even internet executives are concerned about the program's end. Google Fiber stated that "access to ACP is the difference between a family choosing to sign up for the internet or having no access at all."

Are there any other low-income internet programs?

Thankfully, the ACP isn't the only way to get affordable internet. There are a couple more options for government-supported programs, plus most internet providers offer discounts for seniors, students, veterans and active military. For example, AT&T Fiber offers the best military discount, giving $15 off your monthly internet bill. We also have a few tips on how to lower your internet bill, like switching to a slower speed or bundling your internet.

Qualifying households can use other government programs available, like the FCC's Lifeline Support program, which gets users up to $9.25 off internet services. Or if you live on Tribal lands, you can get up to $34.25 per month for your internet bill with the FCC's Enhanced Lifeline Benefits for Tribal Lands.

Who qualifies?

At least one person in your household needs to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for any low-cost internet assistance.

ACP eligibility

You can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if your income is 200% or less than federal poverty guidelines and at least one person in your household meets these requirements:

  • Resides on Tribal lands and participates in Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start, Tribal Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Participates in the free and reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast program (including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision)
  • Participates in one of the following federal programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Is enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

You also need to be in an area with a participating internet service provider. We list those providers a little farther down, but you can check what ISPs are available near you in the meantime.

What benefits does the program provide?

The Affordable Connectivity Program provides up to $30 toward an eligible household’s monthly internet bill—or up to $75 for those living on Tribal lands. You can apply your subsidy to any internet plan if your provider participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program. For example, with Xfinity's Internet Essentials plan, veterans get discounted internet service for sometimes less than $10 a month.

Eligible households can also receive up to $100 toward one laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through their internet provider. But you must pay at least $10–$50 for the device to receive the discount.

It’s important to note that the $30, $75, or $100 subsidies aren’t paid directly to you. Instead, they go to your internet provider, which should discount your service or the cost of the device you purchase. That also means that if your internet plan costs less than $30 or $75 a month, you won't be able to pocket the extra money.

Also, each eligible household gets only one monthly discount on their internet service and only one device discount.

How long do the benefits last?

As it stands, the Affordable Connectivity Program is expected to run out of funds in April. However, if Congress votes to approve more funding and revive the program, your benefits will last as long as the program is funded.

Which internet providers are participating?

More than 300 different internet providers are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The approved providers differ by state, and you can check out which providers are participating in your state on the FCC's site or with the USAC's Companies Near Me tool.

Here are some of the bigger service providers participating in the ACP:

Other ACP providers

Here are some other, smaller providers participating in the ACP in some way.

Provider
Also offering connected devices?
Allo Communications

No

AltaFiber

No

Astound

No

Breezeline

No

Comporium

No

Hawaiian Telecom

No

IdeaTek

No

Jackson Energy AuthorityNo
MLGC

No

Optimum

No

Starry Internet

No

Vermont Telephone Company

No

Vexus Fiber

No

Our recommended ACP providers

We consider these the top offers you can get through ACP.

ACP plans comparison
Service
Price
Download speed
Deatails
Access from AT&TUp to $30.00/mo.Up to 100 Mbps
Cox Connect2Complete$9.95/mo.Up to 100 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Assist 50 Mbps$24.99/mo.*Up to 50 Mbps
Verizon Forward ProgramUp to $49.99/mo.300–940 Mbps
Xfinity Internet Essentials and Essentials Plus$9.95–$25.95/mo.50–200 Mbps
* No contract required. Available in select areas only.

Data effective 02/26/2024. Offers are subject to change.

Mobile and internet providers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program

And while it seems like most providers aren't offering connected devices, non-profits human-I-T and PCs for People are offering to help get your hands on connected devices. Both were listed as Emergency Broadband Benefit Program participants, so we expect they'll continue to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Brenna Elieson
Written by
Brenna Elieson
After graduating from Utah Valley University with an English and literary studies degree, Brenna transitioned from sales recruiting to the world of tech writing at Reviews.org. She loves horror movies, her two cats, and arguing with strangers on Letterboxd.

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