Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Explained

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States has historically run programs to help low-income individuals and families access affordable telecommunications services, including broadband internet. These public service projects provide discounts on monthly bills or help cover the cost of internet service and devices. In 2021, the US Congress passed a $1 trillion infrastructure package that included $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program initiative. If you’re unfamiliar with this government scheme but think you could benefit from it, here’s what you need to know.

What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an internet connection assistance plan set forth by the US Federal Government to ensure that those who cannot afford the standard internet charges can get broadband for school, healthcare, and work purposes. The benefit offers eligible households a discount of up to $30 per month towards internet service and up to $75 per month for people living on qualifying Tribal lands.

Furthermore, households that fulfill specific requirements can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for buying electronic devices, such as desktops, tablets, and laptops, to access the internet. This offer is available through participating internet service providers (ISPs) and is typically subject to the beneficiary’s contribution of between $10 and $50 towards the device’s cost.

The ACP program is limited to one monthly internet bill and one device per eligible household. Additional services and devices require payment at standard rates.

Who Is Eligible for the ACP Program?

Eligibility for the ACP is mainly based on income, with families having to demonstrate that they earn below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Alternatively, households can qualify if a member received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, meets the eligibility requirements for an existing low-income internet program offered by a participating provider, or participates in at least one of the following government assistance programs:

  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
  • Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC)
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
  • Lifeline

The ACP is also available for those who live in Tribal lands and participate in specific assistance programs, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and Tribal Head Start.

How Do You Apply for ACP?

If you are a Lifeline beneficiary, you do not need to apply for the ACP. In that case, all you need to do is contact your Lifeline provider and ask for the available options to join the ACP. You may contact any other participating provider to sign up for an eligible internet service. Other than that, there are three primary ways to apply for the ACP, including:

1. Online
Visit to create and log into your account. Then, fill out the provided form. After receiving approval, you can pick a participating provider and sign up for a discounted offer.

2. Via Postal Mail
You can also download and print the application form. Fill out all the details and provide the required documents. The FCC recommends that you also fill out your Household Worksheet and send it along with the application to the following address:

ACP Support Center
PO Box 9100
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773

Upon approval, you can pick your preferred ISP and sign up for the discounted bundles that best fit your specific coverage needs.

3. Through a Participating ISP
Find a participating internet service provider and ask them to help you through the process. Many have a section for the ACP program on their websites, so it should be easy for you to find the necessary information.

What Does ACP Cover?

The ACP’s coverage varies from one provider to the next. However, the program is meant to help pay for the basics of internet and mobile data plans. Most providers will have the qualifying members choose a number of services that are bundled as one offer, depending on their needs. Once the ACP has been applied to the bill, it will always appear at the bottom and reduce the amount you would typically pay for your internet services.

Being eligible for the ACP does not prevent you from subscribing to other services offered by your internet provider. However, the discount will only apply to the eligible ones. That said, you must still pay for any other services in full.

Participating ACP Providers

The FCC works hand-in-hand with internet service providers to identify packages offering discounts to those in need. Here are some of the leading participating ACP providers.


This renowned internet provider offers several internet and data plans and participates in the ACP program. Once covered, The services you will get include unlimited data plans, both older and current, along with bundled data options. The ACP also covers usage-based plans, whether current, old, or bundled with other services. Other eligible mobile plans include Premium, Plus, and Essential plans, along with mobile hotspots.
Furthermore, the offer extends to eligible home plans, encompassing a range of options such as Fios Mix and Match Internet at various speeds, and traditional Fios bundles. The ACP may also cover plans like 5G Home Internet, LTE Home Internet, High-Speed Internet, and Fios Prepaid. As you can see, there are multiple option with Verizon Internet.


This ISP also offers various services that are eligible for the ACP discount, including the prepaid plan and hotspot data plans. The prepaid mobile plans that are eligible for this offer include the 5GB, 10GB, and Unlimited Max data plans. It’s worth noting that there is a registration fee for all the offers above. To access tablet and hotspot data, you can opt for AT&T’s 5G high-speed plans, which come in two variants with 15GB and 50GB data options. For the AT&T Internet, eligible households who qualify and enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program and Access from AT&T can receive internet at no charge with AT&T Internet plans (768K-100M) and with AT&T Fiber (100M only).  A Wi-Fi gateway/modem and installation are included at no charge.


If you qualify for the ACP, you can enjoy free or discounted internet based on the plan you pick from this service provider. The internet services that are eligible for the discount include Xfinity Internet, Xfinity Mobile Services, and Internet Essentials.
For mobile services, you can get discounts on unlimited per-line data or the shared plan, which you’ll buy as you go. The Xfinity internet services that are eligible for the program include 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps, and 800 Mbps. For free internet, choose Essential plans with ACP. There are no charges for 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps, and both options come with free equipment, no credit check, and no long-term contracts.


Frontier offers various plans that enjoy a discount from the ACP program. Unlike the other providers, Frontier also includes fiber in its ACP-eligible plans. The most affordable Frontier internet plans with no upfront cost are Frontier Essentials Internet and Fiber 100. For other fiber plans like 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, and 5 Gbps, you can enjoy a $30 monthly discount.


The Affordable Connectivity Program enables low-income consumers to access affordable internet. It is part of the federal plan to enable easy access to internet services for school and work. Eligibility is dependent on income and other factors. People who receive other federal assistance may also be eligible for ACP. If you qualify for the discount, check if your favorite participating internet provider is available in your area and ask what options they have for you.

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