What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)? Everything You Need to Know
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible households with a discount on broadband service and connected devices. On November 15, 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) became law. The Infrastructure Act provides $14.2 billion to modify and extend the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) to a longer-term broadband affordability program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
StandUp Wireless will continue to offer qualifying customers the ability to have free wireless service to stay connected to family, friends, emergency services, jobs, and more. The free monthly service, which includes unlimited talk, text, and high-speed data, also includes additional low-speed data so that customers have plenty of services to access everything they need from their phone or tablet.
Read on for answers to important questions you may have about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and how it may affect your current or future services.
What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
The ACP is a government benefit program operated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that helps make broadband more affordable for lower-income households. The ACP provides discounts of up to $30 per eligible household on monthly broadband Internet access service (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands) and up to $100 on specific connected devices (with a required co-pay of between $10.01 and $50).
ACP services and devices are subject to consumer eligibility, provider participation, product availability, and approval by the FCC and its ACP administrator, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Launched on December 31, 2021, the ACP replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. Subscribers enrolled in the EBB as of December 31, 2021, may keep their EBB benefit for 60 days and can transition to the ACP on March 1, 2022, if eligible.
Who Is Eligible for ACP Discounts on Broadband Service?
A household is eligible to receive an ACP discount if a member of the household meets one of the following criteria:
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level;
- Receives benefits from Medicaid/Medi-Cal, SNAP/Cal-Fresh, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, WIC, or Lifeline;
- Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program; or
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
ACP eligibility will be determined by USAC’s National Verifier (NV) and National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), or an alternative verification process approved by the FCC.
What Rules Apply to Me When I Participate in the Program?
Only eligible consumers may receive ACP discounts. The ACP monthly service and device discounts cannot be transferred to another household or individual. An eligible household is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount. ACP discount recipients must either make or answer a voice call (if your device is capable), send a text message (if your device is capable), use data, purchase minutes, or respond to direct contact from us at least once during any 30-day period to continue receiving your ACP discounted service.
Can I choose my ACP provider?
ACP benefits can be obtained from any participating provider of your choice, and your monthly service benefit can be transferred to another provider at any time.
What Service Plans Does StandUp Wireless Offer With the ACP Discount?
You can apply your ACP discount to any available StandUp Wireless service plan. Service plans will be posted on StandUp Wireless’s website here.
What Upload and Download Speed Will I Receive?
StandUp Wireless provides high-speed broadband service to ACP customers. However, your service plan may limit the amount of high-speed data included with your service plan and the actual speeds you will achieve while using our broadband services. Maximum speeds are optimal for real-time or near real-time, high bandwidth uses. Still, lower speeds may affect your ability to stream audio and video, access certain websites and content or interact with available applications. In addition, other factors, including your device, network availability from our underlying carrier, your proximity to cellular towers, and environmental factors, may affect speeds. For additional information about broadband speeds, review our Broadband Transparency Disclosure.
How Do I Sign up for ACP With StandUp Wireless?
- If you’re an existing StandUp Wireless EBB customer, you will continue to receive the monthly EBB service discount of up to $50 until March 1, 2022 (unless you switch to an ACP plan). As of March 1, 2022, you will receive a monthly ACP service discount of up to $30. If you qualified for EBB using eligibility criteria discontinued for the ACP, then you must re-verify your eligibility with USAC’s National Verifier before March 1, 2022. StandUp Wireless will notify you if you are required to take additional steps to maintain your ACP benefit as of March 1, 2022.
- If you’re a new customer or a Lifeline or EBB customer with another provider, apply now by visiting standupwireless.com.
How Is Lifeline Different From the ACP?
Lifeline is the FCC’s program to support affordable access to essential communications services such as broadband Internet access. The ACP is a new program designed to provide additional support to make broadband more affordable for struggling households. Your Lifeline and ACP benefits can be combined and applied to the same service plan or applied to different service plans. In addition, Lifeline subscribers can choose to take ACP benefits from another service provider.
Do I Have to Apply for Lifeline to Get ACP?
No, you do not have to apply for Lifeline to get ACP. StandUp can email you a paper application and instructions if you only want to apply for ACP service. Please call StandUp at 1-800-544-4441.
If I Already Receive Lifeline Benefits, Will I Automatically Receive the ACP Benefit?
No. You must opt-in and choose an eligible service plan. Lifeline plans and benefits may be maintained without enrolling in the ACP. If you want to apply for ACP service only, visit standupwireless.com to apply.
If I Enrolled in the EBB Program, Will I Continue to Receive My EBB Discount?
The FCC phased out the EBB and replaced it with the ACP beginning December 31, 2021. Eligible subscribers who were enrolled in StandUp Wireless’s EBB Services as of 6:00 PM Eastern Time on December 30, 2021, will continue to receive service with an up to $50 EBB program subsidy (or for households on Tribal lands, up to $75) during a 60-day transition period, which lasts from December 31, 2021, to March 1, 2022.
The discount amount available to subscribers enrolled in the ACP after the transition period will be up to $30 per month (up to $75 in Tribal lands). EBB subscribers who qualified for the EBB through eligibility criteria that do not apply to the ACP will be required by USAC to demonstrate their eligibility in the National Verifier to receive an ACP benefit using the ACP criteria before the end of the transition period. EBB subscribers will receive additional information if they are required to take additional steps to transition to the ACP benefit on March 1, 2022.
How Long Will the ACP Last?
The ACP benefit is subject to funding availability from the FCC, provider participation, and consumer eligibility. Suppose the FCC announces that funding has been exhausted. In that case, we discontinue our ACP service offers, or we determine you are no longer eligible for the ACP, StandUp Wireless will notify you. You will revert to receiving the standard FREE Lifeline plan where available. You may keep your service plan by paying the applicable undiscounted rate plus fees and taxes if you are eligible. Our terms and conditions will apply.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
For full details about StandUp Wireless’s ACP-supported services, please review our ACP Terms and Conditions, available by clicking here. Additional terms and conditions specific to your service plan may apply and will be communicated to you when you enroll in the service plan. For more information about the ACP, visit standupwireless.com.