C.R.S.T. Telephone Authority announced on January 7 that it is working to build awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The new long-term benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households struggling to afford internet service.
The $14 billion Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to a $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households, and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
• Has an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
• Participates in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
• Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard) Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
• Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
• Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
• Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.
Affordable Connectivity Program enrollment opened on December 31, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider at www.fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers in two ways:
• Submit an online application at acpbenefit.org or print a mail-in application
• Contact their preferred participating broadband provider and select a plan
Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/ACP or by calling 877-384-2575 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET any day of the week.