Free or Discounted Internet for 2022Posted on: January 30, 2022
Updated May 17, 2022
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How can I get free or discounted Internet service?
The federal government offers two Internet discount programs.
You may be able to get free or discounted Internet from one of these two programs:
- the Lifeline Program; and/or
- the new “Affordable Connectivity Program, or “ACP.”
What is the Lifeline program?
The Lifeline program can cut up to $9.25 off a monthly Internet bill. Lifeline benefits can cut up to $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands.
You cannot get Internet service from Lifeline if you have a cell phone or phone plan through Lifeline.
Learn more about Lifeline here: https://slls.org/free-cell-phone-assistance-2022/.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The ACP is a new federal Internet discount program.
The ACP replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB).
If you used to get the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), your Internet company should have talked to you by March 1, 2022, about how to keep your discount. If you lost your discount through the EBB, you can still apply for the ACP now.
If you never had the Emergency Broadband Benefit before, you can also still apply for the ACP.
You can’t apply now for aid under the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
Who is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
One of these things must be true for you or someone in in your household.
- Income at or below twice the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
- Gets SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
- Aid from tribal programs. These include Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting income caps), Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Aid from free and reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Has a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
- Qualifies for help from a low-income program a broadband provider already has.
How much is the ACP discount?
ACP aid is:
- Up to $30/month discount for broadband service;
- Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. The household must contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
There is only one monthly service discount per household.
There is only one device discount per household.
How do I apply for the ACP?
Apply through Lifeline if you have Internet service from Lifeline. If you want to switch Internet companies, you must be sure that the new company is part of the ACP.
(You cannot get Internet service from Lifeline if you already get a Lifeline cell phone discount.)
If your Internet is not through Lifeline, apply through your Internet company.
The link below has a list of companies with the ACP: https://data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/Download/Report.
If you do not already get Internet aid, you must apply for the ACP online or by mail:
- Apply online at ACPBenefit.org
- Print an application from http://www.acpbenefit.org/. Mail the completed form ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
- If your Internet company is part of the ACP, ask your company if it has its own ACP application for you to complete.
If you are approved for the ACP, you can only use the discount with an Internet company that is part of the ACP.
You must make sure your Internet company applies the ACP discount to your bill.
Which companies can I use the discount at?
Internet companies with the ACP are listed here: https://data.usac.org/publicreports/CompaniesNearMe/Download/Report
As of May 9, 2022, 20 different Internet companies began offering Internet plans that cost $30 per month or less. If you use your ACP discount on one of these plans, you will have no cost for your Internet access. Internet companies offering these $30 per month or less Internet plans are listed here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/getinternet/?utm_source=getinternet.gov.
For more information on the ACP, visit www.fcc.gov/ACP or call 877-384-2575.