Feb. 15, 2022
The first federal intervention in the economic fallout from COVID-19, named the CARES Act and approved in March 2020, set aside money for a temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to subsidize broadband access during the pandemic. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted by Congress on Nov. 15, 2021, renamed the benefit program, made it permanent, set aside an initial $14.2 billion to pay for it, and set up procedures to convert households approved under the old program to the new program by March 1, 2022.
Benefits to most low-income households max out at $30 per month.
Households not approved under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will now apply directly to the Affordable Connectivity Program.
More on the FCC’s current Affordable Connectivity Program is here.
To apply, or to ensure benefits after March 1, go to the ACP Benefit website here. Prior approval for other federal programs like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, public housing assistance, school lunch, veterans benefits and a Pell Grant for college costs in the current award year, will be accepted as proof of income eligibility.
Is your service provider participating in the ACP? Chances are yes: More than 70 providers are listed as available to residents of Charlotte’s mostly low-income 28208 ZIP Code.
For households, two steps are required – applying for the program, then contacting their phone or Internet provider to have the benefit reduce their monthly bill for service.