President Joe Biden recently announced that twenty of America’s largest broadband providers, including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, have agreed to offer high-speed internet to tens of millions of low-income households essentially for free through a previously existing federal subsidy. Eligible households can obtain a subsidy of up to $30 per month through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Here we will answer some of the most common questions on how your family can receive free internet:
- What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
- Will my internet really be free?
- Who qualifies for free internet?
- How can I apply?
- Do I need a social security number or ID to be eligible?
- Who can I contact if I need assistance with my application?
- Is it considered a public charge to receive this help?
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for internet service and connected devices like laptops or tablets.
Will my internet really be free?
Your internet will be free as long as you use one of the twenty internet service providers who have agreed to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This is because those companies have already agreed to make their monthly plans $30, and the ACP will reimburse up to $30 per month per eligible household.
To see the complete list of participating providers, please click here.
Who qualifies for free internet?
Families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible. Depending on the number of individuals living in each home, the chart below illustrates the maximum income allowed for eligibility:
You also qualify if you participate in one of the following government assistance programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Families with children who receive free meals at their school
- Certain Tribal assistance programs.
How can I apply?
Complete and submit an application using one of the following three options:
By mail: You can complete this form in English, print it, and send it by mail to the address indicated on the first page of the form. Instructions for filling out the application can be found through this link.
Apply online: You can also apply online by clicking here. This option requires that you have an email address.
Call your provider: If your internet provider participates in this program, you can call and register directly with the company. Visit GetInternet.gov to find the list of participating service providers in your area.
Do I need a social security number or ID to be eligible?
There is an option on both forms to enter a social security number, but you do not need to enter one. As for ID, you can present your driver’s license, foreign passport, taxpayer identification number (ITIN), or other government identification to verify your identity.
Who can I contact if I need assistance with my application?
If you have any questions or need help filling out your application, please contact the ACP helpline at 877-384-2575. For assistance in Spanish, you will need to press the number 2. The line is available 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (Eastern Time).
Is it considered a public charge to receive this help?
It is not considered a public charge if you receive this help. Therefore, it does not affect your immigration status. For more information, click here.