The temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program will become the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new longer-term program, on December 31, 2021. Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of 12/31/21 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until 3/1/22. What’s Changing?
The maximum monthly benefit will change from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Households that qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s COVID-19 program will need to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. These households will receive additional details about the steps they need to take from the program administrator (USAC) or their broadband provider, in January 2022, and will be given at least 30 days to respond. They will continue to receive their full EBB benefit until March 1, 2022.
This program transition was created by Congress as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The FCC is accepting comments on the implementation of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through December 28. If you are interested in submitting reply comments, please visit the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). From ECFS, enter “21-450” in the “Proceeding(s)” field, and select “Affordable Connectivity Program” from the dropdown menu.
The November 18, 2021 Public Notice containing more information is available here. The FCC also released additional guidance on ACP on November 26 and December 8. Eligible households can continue to enroll in the EBB before 6:00 p.m. EST December 30. At that time the online program application will close and the paper application will be removed from the website. Your partnership with the FCC on outreach is critically important during this period of transition to the Affordable Connectivity Program. We will be continue to provide updates on the program transition in the coming weeks. If you would like to schedule an information session starting next month, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.