In May 2021, the FCC introduced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, to help families who were facing financial difficulties affording wireless internet during the Covid-19 pandemic. This program was always intended to be temporary, and it has now ended. Consumers currently receiving benefits through the EBB can continue to do so until March 1, 2022.
In place of the EBB, the FCC has now introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). While similar to the EBB, the benefits and qualifications are slightly different.
The program will still provide discounts on wireless plans for qualifying customers, but the amount of the monthly discount is now $30/month, down from $50/month. Households on tribal land qualify for a discount of $75/month, down from $100/month. A $100 discount on the purchase of qualifying devices remains. Only one person per household can be eligible.
The qualifications for eligibility have also changed. Most notably, customers must now have an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Previously, the income level was at or below 135% of the guidelines.
At this point there is no indication the Affordable Connectivity Program is intended to be temporary as the EBB program was.
Key Mobile Internet Related Considerations:
- All of the major cellular carriers, and many regional carriers and MVNOs, will participate in this program, offering discounts on mobile wireless plans to customers who qualify. Although there may be some differences in what is available from state to state.
- These program benefits only apply to customers who meet the income eligibility requirements.
For more information:
- FCC Affordable Connectivity Program
- Affordable Connectivity Program Providers by State
- ACP Enrollment Page
Updates Made to Our Content as a Result of this News:
- FCC Launches Fixed and Mobile Broadband Maps Posted on: November 18, 2022
- 5G Industry Update: Is 2022 The Year 5G Gets Interesting? Posted on: February 17, 2022
- FCC Moves Ahead with Plans for Consumer Broadband "Nutrition" Labels Posted on: February 8, 2022