Recently the federal government launched the Affordable Connectivity Program to help people get home internet services and devices such as tablets and computers at a lower cost. This program can be accessed by people who want help paying for their current internet service, or those who do not have home internet service yet. Below is some information on the program and tips for how to apply, and how to get help with the application process.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs:
- The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- or Lifeline;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on Qualifying Tribal lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income based)
How to Apply Link: https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/
Helpline Phone Number: 877-384-2575
Link to Participating Providers in Texas: https://www.fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers#Texas
What you will need to apply:
- Date of Birth
- ID verification such as Social Security Number, Tribal ID, Drivers License, Passport, or other government ID
- Home address where you want internet service (no PO boxes)
- Knowledge on if you and/or your child qualify based on their eligibility guidelines
- An email address if applying online (follow mailing instructions in that How to Apply link to do it by mail)
- Documentation to prove eligibility
Tip 1: If you already have internet service, contact your provider and have them enroll you in this program!
Tip 2: If you live with other people that you are not related to, all of you can apply for this program separately.
Tip 3: Approval is not instant. Make sure you plan ahead, with the knowledge that you will need to wait for approval before getting the discounts.