The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that April will be the last month of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The federal agency previously introduced an enrollment freeze last month.

The ACP program was launched in 2021 by the Biden-Harris Administration and provided affordable internet and discounts to low-income qualifying households.

Despite the program’s success and vocal support, the program will be coming to an end in May 2024 due to funding approval delays by Congress.

Consequently, over 23 million US residents are expected to lose free internet this spring. 

What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The ACP is a federally subsidized internet program that offers a $30 per month discount ($75 per month on Tribal lands) on internet service, to qualifying households and communities.

The program was initially started to help struggling families during the COVID-19 pandemic. But recently it has grown as a cost-effective national program that provides affordable internet access, digital connectivity, and avenues for financial success to low-income families.

Why Is the ACP Important?

According to a recent national survey, 65% of ACP participants fear losing their jobs or their family’s primary income. Whereas, 75% fear losing access to important healthcare services.

In the current economy, taking this off the scene would have a devasting impact on all low-income recipients. 

Why Is ACP Ending? 

In 2021, Congress appropriated $14.2 billion in funds for the program, which is projected to end in April 2024. Due to the lack of additional funding by Congress, the FCC has decided to end the program on the given timeline.

Could ACP Come Back?

Though public representatives are fighting to get the program extended, for now its fate is sealed.  

It can only be revived on Congress’s approval and subsequent restoration of funds but the possibility of that happening remains highly unlikely as per most industry experts.

Will I Be Notified When My ACP Benefit Ends?

Yes, your ISP will send three written notices.

The last of which you can expect to receive with March’s billing cycle before the program ends. 

Where to Get Low-Income Internet Discounts?

Many internet providers offer low-income programs and discounted internet for seniors, including Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T, Cox, WOW!, and Optimum.

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