Thursday, November 30

ACP: A Program To Improve Lives

In the race to survive in a world with enormous cultural and financial differences, it has become crucial to uplift the downtrodden communities. To do so, any country’s government sanctions various laws so that every citizen can enjoy the basic needs of earning a livelihood. 

One of these laws is the Affordable Connectivity Program, commonly known by its abbreviation acp introduced by the US Government. It is a benefit program launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The primary aim behind this program is to make sure that every household can afford broadband service, which has become a prerequisite for work, school, and healthcare, to name a few. 

What’s Included?

The FCC-launched program is known to offer a discount of 30 dollars on the actual price of internet service for the eligible households. It further provides a discount of 75 dollars for the families that qualify as tribal lands. 

Furthermore, these households can avail of a whopping discount to a limit of 100 dollars for purchasing various gadgets, including laptops, computers, and tablets from the providers. The only condition here is that more than 10 dollars and less than 50 dollars should be contributed towards the cost price. However, the ACP has a limit of one month of service or purchasing one gadget at a discount per eligible household.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the Affordable Connectivity Program consist of the following conditions-

  1. The household’s income should be 200 or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. A family can still attain the benefits if the household member can meet at least one of the criteria listed below-
  2. Receival of Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  3. Fulfills the eligibility criteria for the provider’s current low-income internet program
  4. Participation in one of the following assistance programs-
  • The National Lunch Program/ The School Breakfast Program via the provision of the USDA Community Eligibility
  • Medicaid
  • SNAP
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • WIC
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal TANF
  • Tribal Head Start (based on income)
  • Food Distribution Program based on the Indian Reservations
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor benefits

How To Enroll?

Visit the official website of the Affordable Connectivity Program and fill out the application form. You can also take a print of a mailed application. Then, you should contact the participating provider of your preference to choose a plan and receive the applied discount on your bill. 

Unfortunately, only a few providers may have an alternative application that needs to be filled by you. Therefore, filling in both the prerequisite steps, i.e., applying for the program and contacting an enrolled provider to select your preferred service plan, is necessary.

How Are Consumers Protected?

The Affordable Connectivity Program enrolled consumers are protected by-.

  1. Consumers can choose their preferred service plan.
  2. Assuring the consumers, such that they can have access to the assisting broadband services by not the credit status of the consumers in regard.
  3. Prohibition of providers from applying exclusion over the consumers with previous due balances or existing debt from joining the program.
  4. Prevent consumers from being obligated into expensive or low-quality plans to fulfill the motive of receiving the ACP.
  5. The consumers are assured that they are not responsible for any early termination fees.
  6. Reduction in the potential of any financial harm, including the bill shock.
  7. Provide allowance to the consumers for switching providers or broadband services
  8. Provision of an FCC process to file an ACP complaint.