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Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): Bridging the Digital Divide with Accessible Internet Solutions

Will the program reopen, or remain closed down?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal program that helps low-income families in the United States afford a broadband internet connection, but is currently shut down due to lack of funding. The program was very efficient, providing a subsidy that could be applied to almost any internet plan, regardless of the monthly cost. Some providers, even created plans specifically to work with the ACP credit to offer customers faster speeds with no monthly cost.

Although the program was designed to be a permanent replacement for the EBB program that was established during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was shut down at the end of May 2024 due to lack of funding. A bipartisan bill for allocating $7 billion in funding was proposed by lawmakers in January 2024 to keep the program running.7 As of May 31, the bill had 263 cosponsors in both the House and Senate—27 Republicans, 235 Democrats and 1 Independent.11 Notably, the House bill had more than enough cosponsors to pass with their votes alone, if the Speaker had brought it to the floor for a vote. Without continued funding from Congress, the FCC shut down the program once all of its funds had been dispersed to those in the program.8

To learn more about the end of the program and how this impacted households across the country, check out our in-depth analysis of the ACP funding crisis. To learn more about why this program was so great, keep reading below.

Do you know which of these providers have service in your area? Enter your zip code below to find out.

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

If you’re not familiar with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), it’s a benefit program from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that provides $30 per month toward a household’s internet bill.1 Those living on Tribal land or certain high-cost areas may be eligible for enhanced support of up to $75 per month.

The ACP is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. The ACP is important because of its broad reach and flexibility as well as the consumer protections that prevent providers from taking advantage of those in the program.

In the two years since the program went into effect, more than 20 million American households have signed up and are currently receiving benefits.5 This has gone a long way to reducing one of the major barriers that perpetuates the digital divide that exists in the US. Furthermore, this and other federal programs targeting internet access have encouraged providers to expand their networks and connect previously overlooked areas. In just the second half of 2023, the number of U.S households without access to high-speed internet dropped by over 1 million, which is a whopping 13% reduction.6 Although there’s still a significant digital divide in the U.S., policies like the ACP are already making a significant impact.

What makes a good ACP-compatible internet plan?

Since the government will pay up to $30 toward any broadband internet plan, most major providers have created new ACP-specific internet plans that cost exactly $30. Shocking, I know. Fortunately for ACP recipients, most providers aren’t just milking the program while offering nothing. Since $30 is quite a bit more than other existing low-income plans that came in around $10 or $20 per month, most ACP-compatible plans also offer higher speeds than your average low-income plan.

Importantly, providers also can’t force ACP recipients into high-priced or low-quality plans in order to receive their discount. Providers must also apply the discount to new, prior, and current customers. Thanks to these protections, the ACP gives its beneficiaries a huge amount of freedom to choose the provider and plan that works best for their specific needs.

Internet Providers with ACP plans

ProviderPlanPriceConnection typeSpeeds up toOrder online
AT&T AT&T AccessFree with ACP credit*Fiber100 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet Essentials Plus from ComcastFree with ACP credit†Cable100 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Lifeline 300 MbpsFree with ACP credit‡Fiber300 Mbps
Cox Communications Cox Connect AssistFree with ACP credit§Cable100 MbpsView Plans
Mediacom Mediacom Connect2Compete PlusFree with ACP credit‖Cable100 MbpsView Plans

Most good ACP-specific plans offer speeds around 100 Mbps, which is enough download speed for the average household to do most online activities, including checking emails, paying bills, online education, and even streaming video. Fiber connections are the best, if you have access to one in your location, though cable connections are also fairly fast and reliable.

For those households that need more speed, remember that your ACP credit can be applied to most plans, including blazing fast gigabit connections, though your discount won’t cover your entire monthly bill.

How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?

Est. Time: 60 seconds

Answer 6 questions and get a personalized internet speed recommendation!

Question 1/6Speed need: 0 Mbps

How many people in your household use the internet/WiFi on a daily basis?

How many devices in your home connect to the internet, including tablets, gaming consoles, and smart devices?

How many people in your household work from home?

What video quality do you use for streaming TV and movies?

How intensely does your household participate in online gaming?

Does your household download large files from the cloud or via the internet?

Our minimum speed recommendation for you:

00 mbps

Other providers with ACP commitments

On May 9, 2022, President Biden announced that 20 internet providers had committed to offering ACP-eligible households high-speed internet access for $30 or less.4 While most ISPs participate in the program, these providers have created special plans designed to give ACP recipients the maximum benefit. This includes plans with a monthly cost of $30 or less, which, with the ACP discount, you get for $0 per month—absolutely free.

More than 80% of the US population has access to at least one of these no-cost plans, but not every provider has coverage in every area. To see which are available in your area, enter your zip code below.

Providers with ACP commitments
Allo CommunicationsLearn More
AltaFiberLearn More
Hawaiian TelecomLearn More
OptimumLearn More
SuddenlinkLearn More
AstoundLearn More
AT&TLearn More
BreezelineLearn More
XfinityLearn More
ComporiumLearn More
FrontierLearn More
IdeaTekLearn More
Cox CommunicationsLearn More
Jackson Energy AuthorityLearn More
MediacomLearn More
MLGCLearn More
SpectrumLearn More
Starry InternetLearn More
Verizon (Fios only)Learn More
Vermont Telephone CompanyLearn More
Vexus FiberLearn More
Wow!Learn More

Enter your zip code below to see a list of internet providers in your area. Most, though not all, participate in the ACP, so be sure to ask a sales rep about how to set up ACP discounts.

Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

You may qualify for the ACP if at least one person in your household meets the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline Program
  • Is approved for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • Has received a Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Is currently eligible for certain providers’ low-income programs
  • Receives assistance through SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC
  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

Households can also qualify for the ACP if the household income is less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, which are specific to each state.

How to Enroll in the ACP

Update: As of May 31, 2024, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has shut down due to lack of funds. While several funding bills have been proposed, none were voted on before the program shut down. It remains to be seen if the program will be funded again in the future.

Additional details can be found in our ACP article.


There are two steps that you must complete in order to enroll in the ACP:

  1. Submit an application for the ACP.
  2. Contact your provider to apply the discount to your bill.

Both these steps must be completed in order to receive your ACP benefits.

Submit your application

The easiest way to apply to the ACP is to fill out the application online. Creating an account requires only your contact information and one ID number (there are several options, though the last four digits of your social security number is supposedly the fastest to process).

Households that are already enrolled in the Lifeline program or another low-income program with a non-Lifeline provider can often skip this step and simply contact their internet provider directly to enroll in the program.

You can also download the application form, print it out, and submit it by mail along with copies of your documentation. If you already have internet at home and are applying for yourself, it’s easier to apply online. But when you’re helping out a family member or friend without internet access, giving them a printed copy of the form to fill out for themselves is often an easier solution.

Completed application forms should be sent to the following address:

ACP Support Center

PO Box 7081

London, KY 40742

Contact your provider

Most national and local internet service providers (ISPs) in the US participate in the ACP, so you generally have your choice of ISP for the program. If not, the FCC has a tool to search participating providers in your area.

The process of setting up your ACP discount differs between providers. Some may have additional application forms you must complete in order to receive your benefit. As mentioned above, eligible households must both apply to the ACP and set up service with their provider. If either step is skipped, the ACP benefit won’t be applied to your bill.

Affordable Connectivity Program FAQ

Which providers participate in the ACP?

Enter your zip code below to see a list of internet providers in your area. Contact a sales rep about how to set up ACP discounts.

What other benefits does the ACP provide?

What consumer protections does the ACP contain?

Does the ACP replace the EBB?

Can I apply for the ACP if I owe money to my provider?

Can I sign up for the ACP if I’m already a customer?

Do I need to contact my provider if my application has been approved?

Can I get the ACP discount from more than one provider?


  1. Federal Communication Commission, “Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on the Implementation of the Affordable Connectivity Program,” November 18, 2021. Accessed February 10, 2022.
  2. Federal Communication Commission, “Affordable Connectivity Program,” Accessed February 10, 2022.
  3. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pub. L. No. 117–58, 135 Stat. 429. November 15, 2021. Accessed February 10, 2022.
  4. The White House, “FACT SHEET: President Biden and Vice President Harris Reduce High-Speed Internet Costs for Millions of Americans” May 09, 2022. Accessed May 12, 2022.
  5. Brian Fung, CNN, “More than 20 million Americans enrolled in a federal program for subsidized internet access,” August 14, 2023. Accessed August 14, 2023.
  6. Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC, “National Broadband Map 3.0: Thankful for Continued Improvements,” November 17, 2023. Accessed November 21, 2023.
  7. Brian Fung, CNN, “US lawmakers propose $7 billion in funding to extend FCC internet discount program,” January 9, 2024. Accessed January 22, 2024.
  8. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, “FCC plans shutdown of Affordable Connectivity Program as GOP withholds funding,” January 9, 2024. Accessed January 22, 2024.
  9. Drew Garner, Benton Institure for Broadband & Society, “Here’s What ISPs Are Telling ACP Subscribers Today,” January 25, 2024. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  10. Federal Communications Commission, “Affordable Connectivity Program.” Accessed February 7, 2024.
  11., “S.3565 – Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024.” Accessed March 12, 2024.
  12. Federal Communications Commission, “Wireline Competition Bureau Announces the Final Month of the Affordable Connectivity Program.” March 4, 2024. Accessed March 5, 2024.
  13. Federal Communications Commission, “Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Reimbursement Rate Estimates for May 2024 ACP Benefits.” March 19, 2024. Accessed March 19, 2024.


Author -

Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.

Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.