Are You Eligible? Lower Your Internet Costs Through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Every individual deserves the right to have broadband access and at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC we have joined with a coalition of groups to ensure our community knows about a new program that will help ensure our communities have the connectivity necessary to access online information, stay connected with friends and family, and for students to do their homework.

This program is called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is a broadband subsidy program administered by the FCC where individuals and households may qualify to receive a monthly credit to offset the cost of broadband internet subscriptions.

We are encouraging all eligible members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to learn more about this program to see if you qualify and to take advantage of this opportunity.

Background:

The Infrastructure and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, established the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and allocated $14.25 billion to make internet access more accessible and affordable. This program extends the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet services, and ensures that they can afford the broadband needed for work, school, healthcare and more.

Through this program, eligible households can receive $30/month ($75/ month for qualifying households on tribal lands) towards their broadband service. Households can additionally receive a one-time $100 discount to purchase a device such as a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a participating provider.

To ensure that broadband is available for low-income households across the country, the Biden-Administration secured commitments from 20 internet providers — covering more than 80% of the U.S population — to offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet for no more than $30/month. As of June 6, 2022 more than 12 million households have enrolled in ACP.

Who is Eligible?

There are three main categories to determine if an applicant is eligible for ACP, which include household income, if the applicant or an applicant’s dependent participates in certain government assistance programs, or if the applicant or anyone in the household already receives the Lifeline benefit.

  • Income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Participates in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, FPHA, WIC, or Lifeline.
  • Students in a household approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch/breakfast program.
  • Received Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Meets eligibility criteria for participating provider’s low-income program (ex. Eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program)

For ACP, a singular household is defined as a group of people who live together and share money (you do not have to be related to one another). Whereas multiple households are defined as roommates who do not share money, students who live away from their family, or seniors living in an assisted-living home with the same address. Each household in a ‘multiple household’ can qualify for their own ACP benefit.

Verifying Eligibility:

When applying for ACP online, the application will attempt to confirm your eligibility automatically, but applicants may need to provide additional documentation for validation. If applicants need to submit additional documentation, they can submit it through mail or online. If submitting by mail, applicants must include a cover sheet with their name and application ID.

  • For applicants applying through qualifying government assistance programs, you must provide the following documentation as proof of participation:
  • Documentation must include the applicants (or the dependent’s) first and last name; name of the qualifying program such as SNAP, WIC, or Lifeline; name of the government, Tribal entity, program administrator, or college that issued the document; and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date.
  • Applicants will also need to submit ONE of the following documents: Benefit Award Letter; Approval Letter; Statement of Benefit; Benefit Verification Letter; Federal Pell Grant documentation should be from the current academic year and can include screenshots of StudentAid.gov dashboard OR an email from the Department of Education about the ACP program.

Applicants qualifying through their household income will need to provide documentation showing their annual income. Types of eligible documentation include:

  • Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
  • Current income statements from the applicant’s employer or paycheck stub
  • A social security statement of benefits
  • Veterans Administrations statement of benefits
  • Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
  • Divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official documentation showing the applicant’s income
  • A retirement/ pension statement of benefits

When applying for ACP there are many types of ID that can be used to verify the applicant’s identity including:

  • U.S. Military ID
  • Birth Certificate
  • U.S. Driver’s license or other government-issued ID
    Passport
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
  • Government Assistance Program Documentation
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Tribal Identification Number

How to sign up:

  1. Go to AffordableConnectivity.gov to apply or print out a mail-in application.
  2. Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.

Advancing Justice AAJC’s Telecommunications and Technology team seeks to help our diverse Asian American communities reap the benefits of technology while also protecting them from its potential harms.

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Advancing Justice – AAJC

Advancing Justice – AAJC

Fighting for civil rights for all and working to empower #AsianAmericans to participate in our democracy.