The ACP is winding down

What do you need to know about ACP?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a government-funded initiative that provides discounted internet services to eligible low-income households. Since its inception, the ACP has played a crucial role in bridging the digital divide and ensuring affordable access to broadband services. However, due to the ACP benefit ending soon, it’s essential to understand the implications and explore alternative options.

 What is the ACP?
What is the ACP?  

Navigating these upcoming changes requires staying informed and proactive. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the necessary information surrounding the topic “The ACP is winding down, what do you need to know”. This includes key dates, alternative programs, and steps you can take to ensure uninterrupted internet access

By staying informed and taking the appropriate actions, you can seamlessly transition to a new program or service, ensuring that your connectivity needs are met without any significant disruptions. Whether you’re currently benefiting from the ACP or exploring options for the first time, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions and maintain your internet access.

What is the ACP?

When is the ACP program ending?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is the Federal Communications Commission’s program launched on December 31st, 2021, replacing the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. This government-funded program helps bring affordable internet access to low-income households across the United States. It’s important to note that ACP is a separate program from the Lifeline benefit, which focuses on discounted phone service.

Administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the FCC’s oversight, the ACP program helps bridge the digital divide for those who need it most. A consumer can qualify for the ACP benefit if their income is 200% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, has no income, or if they participate in certain government programs such as: Lifeline, SNAP /Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), …

When is the ACP program ending?

The FCC announced that the full benefit of ACP discounted phone service would end in April. However, there is still some support for existing customers in May. So, to answer your question about is ACP ending in April? Not entirely. The FCC will provide a partial benefit in May.

Why is the ACP freezing enrollments

Depending on the offers of your current wireless provider, they might ask you to pay a bonus fee to maintain connection or offer you a full-service plan in May regardless of the level of the ACP benefit. Therefore, to answer the question of when ACP is ending officially, we understand that May is the last month to receive a significant ACP benefit.

Why is the ACP freezing enrollments on February 7th and ending the benefit in April?

Since February 8, 2024, only existing ACP participants can switch providers. New applications are no longer being accepted due to a lack of funding. The initial $14.2 billion allocated by Congress is projected to run out by April 2024. This means existing enrollees can continue receiving the benefit until then, but there are not enough funds to provide for new ones. With the ACP funding ending soon, freezing new enrollment was done to secure benefits for existing participants.

Why is the ACP program ending?

Why is the ACP program ending?

In late 2023, many disadvantaged Americans faced a worrying prospect: news reports predicted the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) could run out of funding and near the end of 2024. This program provides vital internet subsidies, and its closure threatens the financial well-being of countless individuals who rely on it for work and staying connected. Losing ACP could mean facing the full cost of internet service, a significant burden for many. Many questions from users were sent to wireless providers and even posted on social media platforms regarding the ACP benefit ending and how to keep their connection.

Back to the big question of why ACP is ending, several predictions and assumptions surrounded the reason for ACP ending, but most centered on ACP funding ending. This is true, as ACP is a funded program, and its duration depends on Congressional funding. If Congress allocates more funding, the program will continue for a longer period, allowing participants to benefit for a longer time.

Will the ACP program continue?

Will the ACP program continue?

The future of ACP is uncertain. Congress is considering proposals to extend the program, with some bills seeking additional funding and others exploring ways to have internet providers shoulder the cost. The outcome of these discussions will determine whether the ACP continues to help bridge the digital divide. But for now, the official answer for when ACP ending is May, until further notice.

What should you do after ACP ends?

What should you do after ACP ends?

Most people panic when they are notified about the ACP discount ending. Besides paying full price for wireless service, many are worried about what they should do after ACP ends to keep their phone number. Here are some possible recommendations for you to maintain connection after ACP program ending:

Transfer ACP services to Lifeline Program?

Since the ACP is wind-down, what do you need to know? One of the primary options available to eligible households is to transfer their discounted internet service to the Lifeline program. The Lifeline program is a long-standing federal initiative that provides discounted communication services, including broadband internet, to qualifying low-income households.

What is the Lifeline benefit?

What is the Lifeline benefit?

The Lifeline program, established in 1985 by the Federal Communications Commission, was created to help eligible low-income consumers in all states, territories, commonwealths, and Tribal lands access telecommunication services.

The Lifeline program offers a monthly discount of up to $9.25 per household for broadband internet service. Additionally, households on Tribal lands can receive an enhanced discount of up to $34.25 per month. This benefit can be applied to various types of internet services, including fixed broadband, mobile broadband, and bundled voice and data plans.

While both Lifeline and ACP share the common purpose of bringing connectivity to eligible people, there are some key differences between the two programs in terms of income requirements, application processes, and benefits offered.

How can I transfer from ACP to Lifeline?

Normally, before ACP program ending, transferring from the current program to the Lifeline program requires meeting the eligibility criteria and applying through an approved Lifeline service provider. This process typically involves resubmitting proof of income or participation in qualifying government assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, or Federal Public Housing Assistance. It feels like starting your application over.

However, many ACP service providers also offer Lifeline, simplifying the transition. For instance, AirTalk Wireless is authorized to provide both Lifeline and ACP services in over 35 states across the US. When is ACP ending, qualified subscribers can keep their connection and phone number with a smooth switch to Lifeline service. This convenience allows them to maintain their phone number and connection with minimal effort.

What if I’m not eligible for the Lifeline program? How can I keep my ACP benefit?

If you are not eligible for the Lifeline program, you may need to explore alternative options to maintain your internet access after the ACP program ending. Here are some potential solutions:

  1. Explore alternative service providers: Research other internet service providers in your area that offer prepaid plans at an affordable or discounted price for low-income households. Some providers may have their own assistance programs or special pricing tiers. Applying for a bundle plan would help you save more money
  2. Seek local or state assistance programs: Check with your local or state government agencies to see if they offer any internet assistance programs or subsidies for low-income residents.

Even though the ACP program is ending soon, it’s urgent to act now to avoid any service interruption. Don’t forget to explore all available options and take proactive steps to ensure the transition process is complete.

AirTalk Wireless ACP program – What happens next?

AirTalk Wireless is committed to helping its current ACP subscribers maintain their connection after the ACP ends in 2024. They provide ACP customers with a variety of alternative solutions tailored to individual needs, ensuring everyone stays connected with the best possible phone service.

Ending ACP funding causes many concerns, as many don’t want to lose their connection and phone numbers. AirTalk Wireless strongly recommends choosing one of the options offered to avoid losing both your monthly free phone benefits and your phone number. Moreover, transferring out at this time is not ideal, as it could result in resetting the previous loyalty points with AirVoice Wireless. Therefore, act now to choose the most suitable solution for your continued service.

H3: I am currently receiving the ACP benefit from AirTalk Wireless — what happens next?

Due to the FCC’s announcement is the ACP program ending soon in May, AirTalk Wireless will no longer be able to provide discounted internet service through the ACP after May 31, 2024. This means your current service will be discontinued after this date if you don’t act. Your connection will be interrupted, and losing your current phone number could be an unfortunate consequence. To avoid any problems, please choose one of AirTalk’s preferred options.

H3: AirTalk Wireless ACP program – How to transfer to Lifeline and keep all the benefits?

AirTalk Wireless is an authorized provider of the Lifeline program in over 38 states. When is ACP ending, AirTalk Wireless can offer a seamless transition to keep you connected. You’ll continue receiving discounted internet service with a slight change in the amount of data included in your Lifeline benefits. To ensure a smooth transition, you’ll need to meet Lifeline’s eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation. AirTalk Wireless will guide you through the process and help you gather the required information.

Once you qualify (meaning the transfer process is complete), you’ll continue receiving your discounted internet service from AirTalk Wireless. Your phone number and any previous loyalty points will remain the same.

Furthermore, if you’re in a combo ACP and Lifeline plan, no further action is required. Your service will be automatically transferred to Lifeline after the ACP discount ends.

Stay tuned with AirTalk Wireless to enjoy many high-end benefits at no cost that you won’t find with other wireless providers, such as Nationwide 5G+ Blue Network, Free Wi-Fi Calling, Unlimited Talk & Text, and Unlimited International Calling to over 80 countries and more

H3: Transfer from AirTalk to AirVoice – No further action is required

Don’t worry if you don’t qualify for Lifeline! AirTalk has your back. AirVoice Wireless offers deeply discounted monthly plans to fit your budget. Since AirVoice Wireless is the parent company of AirTalk, you can effortlessly port your current number to AirVoice with no additional steps or fees required. AirVoice Wireless provides top-quality phone service at unbeatable prices.

Their prepaid plans start at just $10 per month and offer unlimited calling and texting, with 1 GB of high-speed data (with higher data options available). Plus, sign up for a month of service and get the next month FREE!

H2: FAQ

FAQ

1. What program is replacing ACP?

ACP is not being directly replaced by a single program yet. Instead, eligible households will have the option to transition to the long-standing Lifeline program, which provides discounted communication services, including broadband internet access.

2. What is the future of the ACP?

ACP will officially end in May 2023. The program was designed as a temporary measure to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and was not intended to be a permanent solution. As the ACP benefit ends, policymakers and government agencies are exploring more sustainable and comprehensive solutions to address the digital divide and ensure affordable internet access for low-income households.

3. How long has the ACP program been around?

ACP was established in December 2021 as a successor to the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which was also a temporary pandemic relief measure. The ACP was designed to provide a short-term solution for affordable internet access. Its funding was limited, leading to the decision of ACP to end in 2024.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

6 Comments

  1. Sally Steele Reply

    I did not know all these facts when I joined up. I look forward to this plan or something similar. I need to make sure I get in before the end of this month.

  2. whaquetta reynolds Reply

    What other proof of identity can I use if my purse got stolen? At the moment I have 0 income, but I do get SNAP benefits. I have my EBT card but can’t afford a new ID at the moment. Plz help!

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    • AirTalk Wireless Reply

      You can check the status of your application at https://apply.airtalkwireless.com/enroll/check-status. Normally, it takes about 20-30 minutes for an application to be approved. However, some applications will have to wait 3-4 days or longer for approval. The reason is that your proof documentation needs to be reconfirmed.

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