Do you need help paying for internet?
New federal program offers $30 a month for internet service.
We all need the internet now more than ever. That's why Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to help ensure that everyone can afford internet service and devices.
How it works
Eligible households can receive $30 in assistance per month ($75 per month for households on tribal lands) to help pay for internet service. Eligible households can also receive a one-time $100 benefit for devices such as laptops and tablets.
Note: This program was formerly called the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). On Jan. 1, 2022, Congress renamed it the "Affordable Connectivity Program" and made it a permanent program. Congress also reduced the benefit amount from $50/month to $30/month and changed who is eligible. If you used the EBB, make sure your internet provider is still giving you the ACP and see if the changes affect your bill.
Do I Qualify?
A household can qualify in multiple ways: Does a student in your household receive free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast? Do you use SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline, or other assistance programs? Are you a federal Pell Grant recipient? Do you struggle to afford internet service? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be eligible! Learn more about this benefit and eligibility requirements.
How do I register?
There are three ways to register:
- Visit https://acpbenefit.org/how-to-apply/
- Contact your internet service provider and ask to enroll
- Apply by mail
If you have questions, you can call the ACP Support Center hotline at (877) 384-2575 or email [email protected] for assistance.
Provider information (more to come)
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I receive this benefit? Is it a direct deposit to my bank account? The ACP benefit is paid directly to your internet provider. Similar to a coupon or discount, you will see the benefit as a reduction in the cost of internet service. For example, if you use the ACP to sign up for an internet plan that costs $50 per month, you would only pay $20 out of pocket (plus any additional fees). If the cost of internet service is less than $30, you will not get the difference.
Will I have to pay anything? That depends. If you purchase a plan that costs less than $30 (or $75 if you live on tribal lands), then the ACP will cover the full cost and you will not have to pay anything. However, if the plan costs more than $30 (or $75 if you live on tribal lands), then you will have to pay the difference. See the question above for an example of how this works.
My child receives free or reduced-price lunch or breakfast at school. What do I need to do to sign up for ACP? You'll need to contact your child's school to get documentation that your child received free or reduced-price school breakfasts or lunches in the 2019–20, 2020–21, or 2021–22 school year. If your child attends a school that provides all students with a free or reduced-price meal through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), then you can prove ACP eligibility by submitting a report card that shows the student's name and the school name, or a letter from the school confirming that the student is enrolled there. You can find a database of CEP-enrolled schools here.
Will I need to provide my Social Security number (SSN) to sign up? No. If a household is unable to provide an SSN or feels uncomfortable doing so, they can use a government-issued ID, passport, driver's license, tribal identification number, or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) documentation.
Can I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program if I have a past-due balance with the provider? Yes, eligible consumers with a past-due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.
How long will this program last? The ACP is a permanent program. This is a change from the EBB, which was a temporary program for the pandemic emergency. When Congress turned the EBB into the ACP, they also ended its emergency designation.
What internet services qualify for the discount? You can apply the discount to any internet service plan a participating provider offers. However, not all providers participate. Find a participating provider in your area.
Can I use this program to help pay for my cellphone? This benefit cannot be used to pay for a cellphone, but it can be used to pay for the part of a monthly cellphone bill that covers mobile broadband service or a data plan. For assistance with cellphone service, visit the FCC's Lifeline program..
How is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) different from the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)?
- The maximum monthly benefit changed from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying tribal lands. The monthly benefit remains at $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands.
- Households have additional ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, like receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- Households that qualified for EBB because of job loss during the pandemic or through their internet provider's COVID-19 program will need to reapply.
What if I have more questions? Check the FCC's FAQ and apply for the benefit here.
Want to learn about the Child Tax Credit and other benefits for you and your family? Our Campaign for America's Children can help.
Are there resources you'd like us to include on this site? Email [email protected].
Learn more about what Common Sense is doing to Connect All Students.