Tech Tips: How to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program

By Digital Learning Librarian Amy Hofmockel & Digital Learning Librarian John Gargiulo

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an FCC benefit program to help people afford internet services. If you qualify, the ACP can help pay for monthly internet service and even provide a one-time discount for an internet-capable device.

The ACP is an expanded and modified version of the Emergency Broadband Benefit. If you did not qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit in the past, it is possible that you may be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program under the FCC’s new eligibility rules.

Depending on your internet provider, the benefit can be used for either:

  • Home internet: the kind of internet you use for computers, laptops, and WiFi at home where the cable comes out of your wall and plugs into a modem first.
  • Mobile service: the kind of internet that you use on-the-go with your cell phone or other mobile devices.

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know!

Am I eligible?

The first step is to determine if you are eligible for the ACP. There are several qualifying criteria, and only one member of the household (not the entire household) needs to meet one of the criteria below in order to be eligible:

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines; or
  • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

Find detailed explanations of the eligibility requirements on the ACP website »

I qualify! How do I apply?

There are two steps to enroll:

  1. Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application 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.

Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete. Please note that eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.

The application is currently available in both English and Spanish. You select either language at the top of the online application page.

Need to scan a document or print the application?

The application may ask you to upload documents for verification purposes. The library has scanners you can use to scan your documents to an email or flash drive!

You can print remotely from anywhere and pick up same day or schedule a 60-minute computer appointment and print from any library location. Learn more about print, copy, scan, and fax services »

Once you get your internet working, you may find our other Tech Tips useful. We recommend:

Have a tech question?

Amy Hofmockel

About Amy

Amy is a digital learning librarian who always looks for ways to create those “ah-ha!” moments for digital learners. She enjoys writing, gadgets, and baking.

About John

John is a member of the library’s digital learning team and recent graduate of the University of Illinois MS in Library and Information Science program. He enjoys working with patrons to discover how we can demystify technology and shape it to help us with our different needs. He is also a musician and loves making noise.

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