The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a significant initiative that offers eligible households financial assistance to access affordable broadband services. If you're currently enrolled in the ACP and are considering transferring your benefits to a different service provider, this guide will walk you through the process and provide you with all the necessary information.
Discover the comprehensive guide on transferring ACP benefits, including eligibility requirements, the transfer process, service providers, and more.
Transferring your ACP benefits allows you to:
Flexibility: Choose a service provider that best meets your needs and preferences.
Better Offers: Take advantage of promotional offers or better service packages from other providers.
Improved Service: If you're unsatisfied with your current provider's service quality, transferring allows you to switch to a provider that offers better connectivity and customer service.
Before you can transfer your ACP benefits, there are certain eligibility requirements and processes you need to be aware of:
Consumers enrolled in the ACP can choose to transfer their ACP benefits to a different service provider. When a consumer who already receives ACP service wants to enroll with a new service provider, that new provider should perform a transfer transaction in NLAD to enroll the consumer with their company.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) recognizes the unique challenges faced by residents of Tribal lands in accessing affordable broadband services. As such, the program offers enhanced benefits for eligible households residing on Tribal lands.
Eligibility For Enhanced Tribal Benefits: It's important to note that individuals do not have to be Tribal members to qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit. Anyone living on eligible Tribal lands can receive this benefit, regardless of their Tribal membership status.
Amount Of Enhanced Tribal Benefit: Eligible households on Tribal lands can benefit from a monthly discount of up to $75 for their internet service, which is higher than the standard ACP benefit of up to $30 for eligible households outside of Tribal lands.
Combining With Lifeline: An eligible household on Tribal lands can also receive the $34.25 Lifeline Tribal benefit in addition to the $75 ACP benefit. These benefits can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an ACP-supported internet service. This could be with the same or different providers as long as the provider is participating in the ACP.
Determining Eligibility: For those wondering if their area qualifies as Tribal lands for the purpose of the ACP, detailed information is available on the official ACP website under the section "Enhanced Tribal Benefit."
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) aims to make broadband services more accessible to low-income households. One of the criteria for eligibility is based on educational assistance:
Federal Pell Grant: Households with members who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year are eligible for the ACP. The Pell Grant is a subsidy provided by the federal government to students with financial need to further their post-secondary education.
Documentation For Pell Grant Recipients: To prove eligibility based on the receipt of a Pell Grant, applicants must provide documents that include the student’s name, originate from the student’s educational institution or the Department of Education, and confirm the receipt of a Pell Grant for the current award year.
Other Assistance Programs: In addition to the Pell Grant, households can qualify for the ACP if they participate in specific assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline, and others. Moreover, participation in Tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, and others, also makes a household eligible.
Combining Benefits: It's worth noting that eligible households can combine the ACP benefits with other state and local benefits. For instance, a household could benefit from both the Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home internet service supported through the ACP.
Transferring your ACP benefits involves a series of steps to ensure that the process is smooth and that you continue to receive the benefits without any interruptions. Here's a detailed overview of the transfer process:
Obtain Consumer Consent To Transfer: Providers seeking to transfer an existing ACP subscriber must obtain consumer consent either orally or in writing before each transfer transaction in NLAD. This consent must indicate that the household reviewed the required transfer disclosures and consents to transfer its benefit to the transfer-in provider.
Transfer Transaction In NLAD: Service providers can perform transfer transactions using the standard NLAD batch upload process, an API connection, or by using a National Verifier application ID. The consumer’s current service provider does not have to de-enroll the consumer or take other steps in NLAD for the new service provider to transfer their ACP benefit.
Limitations: To protect ACP subscribers against uninformed or unwanted transfers, ACP subscribers will be limited to one benefit transfer per calendar month starting on April 15th, 2022.
Transfer Exceptions: Consumers can exceed the one transfer limit per service month under certain exceptions. There are four exceptions where a subscriber can transfer service providers more than once a month:
TE1 – Improper Transfer: A subscriber was improperly transferred due to the internet company not making the required disclosures or obtaining the required consent from their household.
TE2 – Operations Ceased: A subscriber’s internet company ceased operations or failed to provide service.
TE3 – Rules Violation: A subscriber’s internet company violated the program rules, and the violation impacts the customer.
TE4 – Moved Outside Service Area: A subscriber’s residential address changed to a location outside of your internet company’s ACP service area.
Transferring your ACP benefits can be a straightforward process if you're informed and prepared. Always ensure you're aware of the requirements and limitations before initiating a transfer. If you have any questions or need further assistance, consider reaching out to the Universal Service Administrative Company or your current service provider.
Online Application: You can apply for the ACP benefits through the ACP website. During the online application, you'll need to provide:
Date of birth
A type of identity – either your social security number, tribal ID number, or a government-issued identity, such as a driver’s license, passport, or taxpayer ID number.
A scanned photo or image of your ID (you can take a photo with your mobile phone).
Mail Application: If you prefer the traditional method, you can mail your application to the ACP Support Center at PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742. To expedite the approval process, consider sending the required documents via email. Include a cover letter with your ACP application ID and name so that the processing team can match your application with your documents.
Through Your ISP: Another option is to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) directly. If they participate in the ACP, they may assist you through the steps required to complete the application process.
Before you can transfer your ACP benefits, you'll need to determine if you're eligible. You are eligible for the ACP if at least one person in your household:
Enjoys Lifeline benefits.
Earns an income that is within or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Participates in assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, FPHA, Veterans Pensions and Survivors Benefit, National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, tribal programs, or received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
To ensure a smooth transfer process, you'll need to provide certain documents as proof of your eligibility. These documents include:
Proof Of Income: This can be a pay stub, tax return, or Social Security statement.
Proof Of Participation: Documents such as benefit verification letters, approval letters, or statements of benefits are required.
Identity Verification: A scanned photo or image of your ID, which can be your social security number, tribal ID number, or a government-issued identity.
These documents should contain the name of the program you qualify for, the first and last name of the household member, the date of issuance within the last 12 months or future expiration date, and the name of the tribal entity, government, school, program administrator, college, or university that issued the document.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an initiative by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for essential activities such as work, school, and healthcare. The program offers significant benefits, including monthly discounts on internet service and one-time discounts on connected devices.
The ACP works in collaboration with various internet service providers to offer discounted broadband services to eligible households. However, it's important to note that not all internet service providers participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
To find a participating provider in your area, you can:
Use the Companies Near Me Tool. This tool allows you to search for internet service providers by city, state/territory, or zip code.
Alternatively, you can download the list of participating providers from the official ACP website.
Eligible households can benefit from a discount of up to $30 per month toward their internet service. For households residing on qualifying Tribal lands, this discount goes up to $75 per month. This substantial reduction can make broadband services much more affordable for many families, ensuring they remain connected in today's digital age.
In addition to monthly service discounts, the ACP also offers a one-time discount for eligible households to purchase connected devices. This includes:
Participating providers offer a one-time discount of up to $100 for these devices. However, to avail of this discount, households must contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price of the device.
When a consumer enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) wishes to switch to a different service provider, the new provider must follow a specific process to ensure a smooth transfer. Here's a detailed overview of the transfer-in provider process:
Before initiating the transfer process, providers must obtain the consumer's consent. This consent can be acquired either orally or in writing. The consent should clearly indicate that:
The household has reviewed the required transfer disclosures.
The household agrees to transfer its benefits to the new provider.
Documentation or recordings related to the required disclosures and necessary consents for ACP benefit transfers must be retained by the providers. This documentation should clearly identify the ACP subscriber's name, acknowledge that the subscriber was provided the required disclosure language, confirm that the subscriber gave informed consent to transfer its benefit and specify the date consent was given.
It's crucial to note that consent is required for every transfer attempt. Providers cannot rely on older consent given for a previous transfer.
Service providers can perform the transfer transaction using:
The standard NLAD batch upload process.
An API connection.
A National Verifier application ID.
The consumer's current service provider does not need to de-enroll the consumer or take other steps in NLAD for the new service provider to transfer their ACP benefit.
To safeguard ACP subscribers against uninformed or unwanted transfers, there's a limitation: ACP subscribers can only transfer their benefits once per calendar month. This limitation started on April 15th, 2022. Providers attempting to transfer a subscriber who has already transferred within the month will receive an error.
In specific scenarios, consumers can exceed the one transfer limit per service month. Providers must obtain confirmation from a subscriber before utilizing a transfer exception. This confirmation can be obtained via the Transfer Exception Worksheet or through another method, but a signature from the consumer, either electronic or on paper, is mandatory.
The four exceptions where a subscriber can transfer service providers more than once a month are:
TE1 – Improper Transfer: The subscriber was improperly transferred due to the internet company not making the required disclosures or obtaining the necessary consent.
TE2 – Operations Ceased: The subscriber's internet company ceased operations or failed to provide service.
TE3 – Rules Violation: The subscriber's internet company violated the program rules, impacting the customer. Note: This exception is not on the Transfer Exception Worksheet and can only be used if directed by the FCC or USAC.
TE4 – Moved Outside Service Area: The subscriber's residential address changed, placing them outside of their internet company's ACP service area.
Transferring ACP benefits to a new provider involves a series of steps to ensure that the process is smooth and that the consumer continues to receive the benefits without any interruptions. Both the consumer and the new service provider must be diligent in following the guidelines to ensure a successful transfer. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a significant step towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all households have access to affordable broadband services. If you believe you're eligible, it's essential to both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a suitable service plan.
Learn more about ACP benefits by exploring our detailed guide on how to avail T-Mobile ACP benefits. Visit WeAreAllUSA.org and browse through the available resources to learn more.