What’s the news? AT&T* and Cricket Wireless opened enrollment today for the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which lowers the monthly cost of broadband service for eligible customers and will help close the digital divide.
Congress recently created the long-term $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program, which replaces the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. This investment will help ensure that substantially more Americans can afford the broadband connections they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
Why is this important? Affordability is one of the key roadblocks to narrowing the digital divide. The ACP will provide eligible customers with federal benefits that can be applied to home internet or wireless services from AT&T and Cricket Wireless.
Under the ACP, the maximum monthly benefit will change to up to $30 per month for eligible households. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Existing EBB customers will continue to receive monthly benefits of up to $50 per month through March 1.
Households will also have new ways to qualify for ACP such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. You can find all eligibility requirements at acpbenefit.org.
When does this change take effect?
New customers can confirm eligibility with the National Verifier and enroll in the ACP today. EBB enrollment ended December 30, 2021.
I’m currently receiving the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). What do I need to do?
Nothing right now. Your current benefit will remain the same through March 1. To receive ACP benefit after March 1, you may be contacted by the Universal Services Administrative Co. (USAC) to reverify your eligibility. If you qualified under the EBB COVID temporary loss of income criteria, the National Verifier will need to reverify your eligibility under different criteria prior to March 1.
The main thing to remember is that the monthly subsidy will decrease from the EBB program’s $50 maximum to up to $30 under the ACP on March 1 (there is no change to the Tribal benefit).
I never participated in the EBB. How do I enroll in the ACP?
Step 1 – You must first apply to the federal government’s National Verifier at ACPBenefit.org to determine if you are eligible for ACP. Eligibility is determined by the federal government, not by AT&T. You may get approved online in just a few minutes, although it could take up to a few days if an application requires a manual review.
Step 2 – Once approved, you will be able to order new AT&T Internet or prepaid wireless service, or have the benefit applied to your existing service. More details on the process will be available at att.com/acp.
What AT&T and Cricket Wireless services are eligible for the benefit?
You can find out details on which AT&T services are available by going to att.com/acp or to cricketwireless.com/ACP for information on Cricket Wireless plans. There you can find out about our home internet service, which is available in 21 states as well as our nationwide prepaid wireless services from Cricket Wireless and AT&T PREPAID.