MADISON – This week, Gov. Evers and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) announced the availability of internet service assistance through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB).
Eligible households may receive a discount of up to $30 per month for their internet service through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new program. Those on Tribal lands may receive discounts of up to $75 per month.
Nearly 1.6 million people – or 650,000 households – in Wisconsin are eligible to enroll.
“We know that the digital divide in our state is holding our communities back, as high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity to learn, work, and access critical resources in our state and country today. Every Wisconsinite should be able to afford internet without having to choose between other essential needs such as food or rent, and getting everyone connected to broadband remains a top priority for me and my administration. This program ensures low-income households across the state have the opportunity and resources to get connected.– Gov. Tony Evers
Affordable Connectivity Program
- President Biden signed the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on Nov. 15, 2021
- The Act provided $14.2 billion in permanent funding for ACP
- The EBB Program transitioned to the ACP on Dec. 31, 2021
- Current recipients of EBB (enrolled as of Dec. 31, 2021) will continue to receive their benefit until March 1, 2022
- In order to continue receiving benefits, some households may need to re-qualify for the ACP to continue their benefits after March 1, 2022
Additional information will be made available this month through the program administrator, Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), or their Internet Service Provider (ISP), on what steps need to be taken to continue receiving their benefits.
“As Wisconsin continues to build more reliable and accessible broadband infrastructure to reach our goal of universal connectivity, it is equally important that these services are affordable for everyone. Affordable broadband is a critical component of everyday life and we will continue to work with our partners to make sure qualified customers are aware of this program.– PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq
If a member of a household meets at least one of these conditions, the household is eligible for the ACP:
- Income is at or below 200 percent of the Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Participates in SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance , SSI, WIC, or Lifeline
- Participates in Tribal-specific programs including Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Receives benefits under the free- and reduced-price school breakfast/lunch program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating ISP’s existing low-income program
Additional pro-consumer initiatives have been included in the ACP, such as protections against using credit checks or existing debt to deny enrollment into the program. It is important to note that the ACP is a voluntary program; not all broadband providers participate.
Additionally, households that are eligible may receive a one-time discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. The individual must contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.
If you are interested in enrolling in this program, click the button below, or contact these participating broadband providers.
Additional help can be found on the FCC’s helpline: 877-384-2575, or by visiting the Affordable Connectivity Program online.
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