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How Do You Qualify For ACP?

Written by: Jeremy Moore
October 3, 2023

For many eligible households, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a beacon of hope. With an increasing reliance on internet connectivity, the federal program promises to help low-income households connect without burning a hole in their pockets.

The Role of the Internet in Modern Households

Every household today, be it on tribal lands or urban areas, requires stable internet service. Whether it's for school, work, or entertainment, a reliable internet service plan is non-negotiable.

Criteria for Eligibility

Household Income and Limits by Household Size

The income limit plays a significant role in the application process. Household income, particularly about household size, is a primary factor. Households must meet specific federal poverty guidelines to qualify.

Special Provisions for Tribal Lands

Those residing on tribal lands receive special attention. The Bureau of Indian Affairs works closely with the ACP to ensure everyone gets the chance for better connectivity.

Government Assistance Programs and Benefit Programs

Being part of the School Breakfast Program, Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, or Food Distribution Program can make a household eligible. Other programs like the Housing Choice Voucher or Temporary Assistance are also considered.

ACP Discounts and Benefits

  • Monthly Service Discount: Each month, households can benefit from a monthly discount on their internet bills. Depending on the internet service provider chosen and the service plan, this could lead to significant savings.

  • Device Discount: It's not just about connectivity. The program also offers a one-time device discount for connected devices, ensuring you have the tools to access the web.

Application Process

  • Online Application vs. Mail-In Application: The ACP provides flexibility. Eligible households can choose between an online alternative application or a traditional mail-in application.

  • Necessary Official Documents: Documentation is key. Whether it's proving household income or participating in the School Breakfast Program, every official document matters.

Choosing the Right Internet Service Provider and Broadband Provider

In today's digitized world, choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Broadband Provider can profoundly impact a household's connectivity experience. While there are many providers, each offers distinct service plans, features, and pricing structures. For households aiming to avail the benefits of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), the decision becomes even more crucial.

The primary reason? Not all plans from every provider may qualify for ACP benefits. Households should diligently research which ISPs are in partnership with ACP and what specific plans under these ISPs are eligible. In addition, it's advisable to consider factors like speed, data limits, customer service quality, and coverage area when selecting a provider.

By aligning your choice with ACP’s guidelines, you ensure that you harness the maximum possible discount on internet service while also getting a plan that suits your needs.

Myths about the ACP and Broadband Services

Like many governmental programs, the ACP is not immune to misconceptions. One widespread myth is that the ACP is a selective program benefiting only a handful of households. This notion couldn't be further from the truth. Whether located on tribal lands, rural regions, or bustling urban centers, numerous households stand to benefit from the ACP's monthly internet service discounts.

Another myth is that the ACP's benefits are meager and don't make a significant difference. In reality, the program's monthly discounts can translate to substantial annual savings, easing the financial strain for many low-income families.

It's imperative to base decisions on accurate information. By debunking myths and understanding the true essence of ACP, households can better utilize the program for optimal internet connectivity.

The Role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Connectivity

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) promotes digital inclusivity. Recognizing that tribal lands sometimes face unique challenges in obtaining high-speed and reliable internet, the BIA has proactively collaborated with initiatives like ACP. Their objective? To ensure no household on tribal lands is left in the digital dark.

By streamlining processes, providing essential resources, and creating awareness campaigns about the ACP and other similar programs, the BIA fortifies the mission to bridge the digital gap, ensuring that tribal households enjoy the same quality of connectivity as others.

Future Outlook and the Importance of Internet Accessibility

The past decade has seen the metamorphosis of the internet from a luxury to an undeniable necessity. From education and employment to healthcare and entertainment, the internet's tendrils have woven into every facet of daily life. As we look towards the future, this integration is set to deepen.

The ACP, in this context, is more than just a program. It's a visionary initiative acknowledging the paramount importance of internet accessibility. With its emphasis on affordability, the ACP seeks to level the playing field, ensuring that financial constraints don't inhibit access to the digital world.

As technology continues to evolve and digital platforms play an increasingly significant role in our lives, programs like the ACP will be pivotal in shaping an inclusive, connected, and empowered global community.


1. How much can a household save with the monthly service discount?

The savings a household can accrue from the monthly service discount significantly vary. This variation is due to the diverse range of internet service providers and the multitude of plans they offer. Therefore, to ascertain the exact discount amount, one needs to delve into the specifics of their chosen provider and the associated plan.

2. Is every broadband provider part of the ACP?

While the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an expansive initiative, it doesn't encompass every broadband provider. That said, the program has successfully collaborated with the majority of leading providers. As a proactive measure, households should always verify the participation status of their preferred broadband provider in the ACP before finalizing any decisions.

3. What is the maximum device discount offered?

The ACP isn't just about internet service; it also recognizes the need for accessible devices. To this end, the program extends a one-time device discount to eligible households. However, it's essential to note that this discount isn't fixed and fluctuates based on the current award allocations and policies. Households should regularly check the official ACP platform or consult their service providers for updated information.

4. Are there special provisions for households on tribal lands?

Absolutely. Households located on tribal lands hold a unique position within the Affordable Connectivity Program. Recognizing the connectivity challenges these households often face, the ACP offers them additional benefits and considerations. The collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs further underscores the commitment to ensuring these households don't get left behind in our digitally advancing world.

5. How does household size affect eligibility?

Eligibility within the ACP is intricately tied to a household's income, which in turn is viewed in the context of the household size. Specifically, the program uses federal poverty guidelines, which are structured thresholds based on the number of members in a household. As the size of a household increases, so does the income limit allowed for that household to qualify. This ensures that larger families aren't unfairly disadvantaged when seeking the program's benefits.


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) stands as a transformative force in reshaping internet accessibility for low-income households. Through its substantial monthly discounts and an efficient, user-friendly application process, the ACP is not only bridging the digital divide but also charting a pathway to a universally connected and empowered future.

Are you thinking of getting access to affordable connectivity programming in your state? Read more about it from our blogs at We Are All USA.

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.
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