Affordable Connectivity Program

by John

I'm trying to understand the Affordable Connectivity Program. Is it the same as the old Emergency Broadband Benefit program or something different? Thank you!

Comments for Affordable Connectivity Program

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Mar 21, 2022
Approval Declines NEW
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I understand that must be super frustrating! First, I would ensure that when you applied that all of your personal information was accurate. Any discrepancies can result in a decline if it doesn't match with government data.

The next most common issue that I've heard of is that the benefit is precluded to ONE per household. So if someone else in your family has already applied and is receiving the benefit, you cannot.

In addition, for families residing at the same address with different families (i.e. a multi-family household), this can cause issues as they apply it per household. In this case, you should reach out to the FCC to appeal and explain your situation.

I've heard they've been trying to address this issue, however, I wouldn't be surprised if it's not a perfect process.

Lastly, if someone applied for the benefit previously using your address, but has since moved and not updated the FCC, it's also possible that's why it's being declined.

Hope this helps!

Mar 20, 2022
I was declined...! NEW
by: Jess

So 100% know that I qualify to receive free broadband under this program as I'm on food stamps, but I was still denied. How is that even possible?!

Mar 14, 2022
You're so right! NEW
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

You're absolutely right! In fact, the FCC has recently released new information that they're cracking down on just this type of fraud. Perhaps some providers are not doing this with fraudulent intentions, and just trying to streamline operations/applications. However, there's no doubt that many are straight up trying to trick Lifeline customers in order to get extra government reimbursements.

As such, the FCC has warned providers that this technique/process/strategy is NOT permitted, and that doing so would place them in violation of the ACP compliance regulations.

Thanks for pointing this out. Users of these programs definitely want to ensure that the government continues to fund these services, which includes minimizing fraud!

Mar 14, 2022
And don't get fooled! NEW
by: Tommy

I think an important thing to also understand is that broadband and service providers are NOT allowed to force you to enroll in this ACP program when you apply for Lifeline. I've heard of this happening a lot. And I guess it makes sense because these providers basically get free government money for both of these programs.

If you need broadband through this program, great, but if you don't, don't get fooled! Make sure you're actually getting broadband service if you opt into this program so these companies don't get paid for providing nothing. This is a real problem, and we all need to protect these types of programs from fraud!

Mar 10, 2022
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Great question! At the heart of it, the Affordable Connectivity Program is simply a long term version of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBB), which was instituted to address the immediate broadband needs that came about during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By this I mean that people had to work from home, and students needed to do school remotely. However, to successfully do this people needed broadband access. Unfortunately, affordable internet access was not available to everyone, which is why EBB was instituted.

Fortunately, the government recognized the need for affordable internet to be a long-standing need. From that arose the Affordable Connectivity Program (a.k.a. ACP). That said, there were some changes that were made where EBB is different from ACP:

- The benefit was reduced from $50 to $30 per month. (The Tribal benefit remains at $75.)

- COVID-19 related qualifications were removed from being a qualification for ACP.

- Substantial loss of income from COVID-19 related impacts was removed from qualification for ACP.

You can find more information about ACP here:
Affordable Connectivity Program Free Broadband

Please don't hesitate to reply with any additional questions!

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