The FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that establishes rules for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Created by the Infrastructure Jobs and Investment Act, the program provides $14.2B toward the reduction of monthly broadband costs for qualifying households. The ACP will provide qualifying households a discount of up to $30 from a participating provider’s bill. Some participating providers are offering an additional benefit of up to a $100 discount off the purchase of computers or tablets if the consumer pays more than $10 but less than $50 towards the purchase of the device.
Households qualify for the ACP through participation in a number of public benefit programs or having a household income of up to 200% below the Federal poverty guidelines.
The ACP replaced the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, on December 31, 2021.
“The past two years have made totally clear that broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. The response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, with over nine million households enrolled in less than eight months, proved what many of us knew to be true: there are simply too many people across the country struggling to pay for high-speed internet service,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on a pilot program to ensure that households that rely on Federal Public Housing Assistance receive direct outreach about the ACP. It also seeks comment on establishing a new grant program for ACP outreach partners.