We Are All USA Logo

Can I Use ACP for Both Internet and Phone? - A Detailed Exploration

Written by: Jeremy Moore
August 6, 2023

The question, "Can I use ACP for both internet and phone?" is a common query among potential beneficiaries of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). As a landmark initiative designed to enhance digital accessibility, the ACP offers considerable benefits for low-income households. Understanding how these benefits can be applied to both internet and phone services can help eligible families make the most of this program.

Unraveling the ACP

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), officially enacted on November 15, 2021, aims to bridge the digital divide in the United States. The program offers monthly discounts on broadband services to eligible households. By providing these discounts, the ACP ensures that essential digital services remain within reach for low-income families, thereby promoting equal access to opportunities in education, employment, and healthcare.

The ACP: More than Just Internet Support

Under the umbrella of the Affordable Connectivity Program, the focus has been primarily on internet services. Still, its influence extends beyond, providing an indirect support system for phone services as well. By accommodating phone services within the structure of the program, the ACP fosters an environment that promotes overall digital communication.

The ACP Benefits: Internet and Phone

Broadband Internet Discounts

One of the standout features of the ACP is its focus on broadband internet access. With a discount of up to $30 per month, the program ensures that eligible households can maintain consistent and reliable internet connections. In an era where digital connectivity is paramount, such a provision is more than just beneficial—it's essential.

Enhancing Digital Communication: Phone Services and the ACP

As we navigate through the digital age, phone services remain as important as ever, enabling vital connections for work, education, and personal communication. While the ACP doesn't directly subsidize standalone phone services, it does indirectly support these services when they're bundled with internet. This allows households that rely heavily on both forms of digital communication to benefit from the program.

Bundling Phone and Internet Services

While the ACP's primary aim is to subsidize broadband services, its reach extends to phone services when they are bundled with internet. Many service providers offer combined packages of phone and internet, and in these cases, the ACP discount encompasses the entire bundle. This inclusion effectively makes both internet and phone services more affordable for beneficiaries.

The Landscape of Bundled Services

Bundled services have become commonplace in the digital service industry, combining internet and phone services into a single, often more affordable, package. This approach simplifies billing and may offer cost advantages, making it a popular choice among households. The ACP recognizes this trend, applying its discount to these bundled services, thereby making both internet and phone services more affordable.

Important Considerations for Phone Services

It's crucial for potential beneficiaries to understand the program's nuances, especially regarding phone services. The ACP doesn't subsidize standalone telephone services. Instead, it offers an indirect avenue for phone cost reductions when they are bundled with internet services. Those considering this benefit should engage with their service providers to get clarity on how the ACP's discount can be optimized for bundled plans.

Leveraging the ACP: A Guide for Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries of the ACP have the opportunity to substantially reduce their digital service costs. However, to maximize the benefits, they need to understand how to leverage the program effectively. This involves choosing the right service provider, understanding the nuances of the program, and staying abreast of any changes or updates.

Choosing a Suitable Provider

Choosing a service provider that is part of the ACP and offers a bundle that suits your needs is crucial. Not all service providers participate in the program, and not all offer bundles that include both phone and internet services. It's, therefore, vital to research and choose a provider that best meets your household's needs while maximizing the benefits of the ACP.

Guidelines for Beneficiaries

The ACP's broad eligibility criteria and application process are designed to make the program accessible to as many qualifying households as possible. However, beneficiaries should keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • The ACP discount applies to one monthly service plan per household.
  • While the discount can be applied to bundles, including phone and internet services, it does not apply to standalone phone services.
  • If a household decides to switch providers, they must ensure that the new provider participates in the ACP.
  • Beneficiaries should familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of their service plan to maximize the benefits of the ACP.

Optimizing the ACP Discount: Best Practices

To make the most of the ACP discount, beneficiaries should ensure they fully understand their chosen service provider's terms and conditions. Some providers may require a contract for bundled services, while others may offer discounts on a month-by-month basis. Fully understanding these conditions can help beneficiaries optimize their use of the ACP discount.

The Bigger Picture: ACP's Role in Bridging the Digital Divide

In its essence, the ACP is more than a discount program; it's a significant step towards bridging the digital divide in the United States. By providing financial aid that reduces the cost of digital services for low-income households, it plays a vital role in creating digital inclusivity.

ACP's Indirect Impact on Phone Accessibility

While the ACP's primary focus is on internet accessibility, its structure allows it to indirectly enhance phone service accessibility. By applying its discount to bundled phone and internet services, it enables households to maintain vital lines of communication, thus playing a crucial role in broader digital inclusivity.

ACP's Ongoing Evolution: Potential for Expanded Support

As the ACP continues to evolve, there may be scope for more direct support for phone services in the future. This could further extend its reach and impact, contributing even more significantly to bridging the digital divide. Beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries should keep an eye on this evolving landscape to make the most of the program's benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the eligibility criteria for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Several factors determine eligibility for the ACP. These include qualification for the Lifeline program, receipt of benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program, a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, among other factors. A full list of criteria can be found on the FCC's official website.

Can the ACP discount be applied to mobile broadband plans?

Yes, the ACP discount can be applied to eligible mobile broadband plans. However, the specifics depend on the terms and conditions of the service provider. It is recommended to consult directly with the service provider for more information.

If I am already a beneficiary of the Lifeline program, am I automatically eligible for the ACP?

Yes, current Lifeline beneficiaries are automatically eligible for the ACP. However, they will need to opt-in to the ACP with their current Lifeline provider or apply with a different participating provider.

How do I apply for the ACP?

To apply for the ACP, you can contact a participating broadband provider directly, go to the National Verifier consumer portal, or mail a paper application along with proof of eligibility to the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Can the ACP discount be combined with other offers from my service provider?

The application of the ACP discount in conjunction with other offers depends on the service provider's policies. Some providers may allow it, while others may not. It is advised to check directly with the service provider for specific information.


So, to answer the question, "Can I use ACP for both internet and phone?" — yes, you can, but with some stipulations. The ACP program primarily targets broadband internet service, but the monthly discount it provides can be applied to phone services when they're bundled with internet. This aspect of the ACP enhances its potential to bridge the digital divide, not just through promoting internet access, but by making digital communication more broadly accessible to those who need it most.

Learn more about the duration of the ACP program and how to make the most of it in this exclusive guide. At We Are All USA, we are dedicated to helping you maximize the benefits of the digital lifeline.

Jeremy Moore
With a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in difficult financial circumstances, Jeremy is dedicated to empowering others to access the benefits, grants, and assistance programs that can transform their lives.
We Are All USA Logo
At weareallusa.org you can explore the array of programs and services available, and take advantage of the opportunities that will shape your path towards a better life.
© 2024 We Are All USA. All Rights Reserved.
DMCA.com Protection Status