Got help with my Internet costs! Does anyone else know about this from the FCC???

So I'm on the internet frequently, especially doing MS'ing/Merch'ing. For years now, I've been using AT&T's DSL Internet at the LOW speed of 6 (yes, SIX!) Mbps, which has worked fine for me all these years, at a reasonably fair price, including taxes, of around $38/month. So, last month, after speaking with someone from AT&T, I found out about a program managed by the FCC called the Affordable Connectivity Program that **ALL** major ISP providers participate in, including AT&T. It is a re-vamp of a former program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit that switched over to this newer program March 1st.

Anyhow, it does have income requirements. The income for your household has to be LESS than TWICE the Federal Poverty Level for the number of people in your household. So my household has two people, me and hubby. Twice the poverty level for two people for 2022 is $36,620.00. The online application process was simple....I filled out some basic info, and then uploaded the Social Security letters we get each year that state our benefit for hubby and myself, and also uploaded a copy of our 2021 tax return. Within 15 minutes I received an email that I had been approved!

The benefit REDUCES your internet bill by $30.00/month.....with no time limit. You can switch between providers. So I checked out Spectrum and got their info. But when I checked with AT&T, I found out that they have AN ADDITIONAL PROGRAM called the
ACCESS BENEFIT....seems that if you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you also qualify for this other benefit. And what it does, is, after the initial $30/month reduction, it basically WIPES OUT the remaining bill, except for taxes and fees, which varies depending on which state you live in. I can hardly believe this!!


So I'm waiting on the AT&T fella to come out in the next hour or so and do whatever he has to do to raise my internet speed from 6 Mbps to 25 Mbps via DSL (the fastest speed available to me in my area right now). Now, if I were to pay for this myself, I would be going from $38.00/month up to $65.00/month for the 25 Mpbs. But I WON'T be paying for it now!! And when the fiber installations are done in my area (hopefully within another month), then I can transfer over to that at the speed of 100 Mbps, (which is the highest speed available for those who qualify for this program), again for NO COST except the taxes and fees. So I should be paying around $5.00/month or so for my internet starting next month!! WOO-HOO!!

We MS'ers are on the internet so much, that if anyone here is interested, here is a link to more information: [www.fcc.gov]

I'm a happy camper!!

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I helped a couple of friends enroll in the FCC program. It was easy and it is legit. You can use it on home internet or even just on a phone wireless plan. The AT&T program sounds good. It appears to be for landline customers only, such as yourself, but that is great news for you.
@mystery2me wrote:

I helped a couple of friends enroll in the FCC program. It was easy and it is legit. You can use it on home internet or even just on a phone wireless plan. The AT&T program sounds good. It appears to be for landline customers only, such as yourself, but that is great news for you.
Well, I don't have a landline anymore, just the DSL line. I dropped the landline about a month ago, and just transferred our number via SIM to a Jethro mobile phone and got a much lower cell phone plan with Mint mobile. I also use the Bluetooth on the Jethro phone to connect to the VTech Connect To Cell phones, so we have plenty of phones in the house!

And yes, you are correct...you can use this plan for a phone wireless plan instead of internet, if you choose. And yes, it WAS easy to apply!

I hope some of our other "regulars" here on the Forum, who may fit the income guidelines, will also look into this! And it's NOT age specific....only INCOME specific. So regardless of your age, if you meet the income guidelines, you're in!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2022 06:09PM by guysmom.
I just qualified for the ACP program and registered with Metro PCS to have my 60.00 month phone bill reduced to 30.00. I am excited. I told my brother-in-law was going to look into seeing if there was something similar for internet. Thanks, now you've saved me the search. I do have ATT internet so I will check into that. Do you by any chance have ATT CAable? I have my internet bundled with my tv so I wonder how that will affect that?
I believe this program allows you to save on EITHER your PHONE ... OR your INTERNET but NOT BOTH.

As far as cable, we have cable with DirectTV, which we are seriously considering DROPPING because the fees are getting ridiculous. There is a streaming service called VIDGO that I can get through Roku. I tried it free for its week's free trial, and I liked it because it's SPORTS INTENSIVE, and I live with a SPORTS INTENSIVE HUSBAND, hahahaha! And the monthly fee for the lowest tier is $55.00/month. It also has entertainment, news, kids, etc. If you can stream in any way, even over the phone, there is an Android app for it...you should check this out as well.

But as far as getting help with BOTH phone and/or internet with the Affordable Connectivity Program, I do believe it is just one or the other, and not both. And like I said, if you have your Internet with AT&T and are approved for this, they will also hook you up with their Access Benefit, which basically wipes out the rest of your bill!
Yes, I saw in the paperwork that you can only have one. I chose my cell phone. After reading you here last night I did contact ATT. I explained that I had already applied my APC credit on my phone bill, but would like about their Access Benefits program. It was not as easy as before but I did get the internet adjusted and renegotiated my cable bill so I am coming out about $30.00 a month less, so I am happy. I did have to drop down from 300 to 100 on the internet, but since it is the Fiberoptic, they said I should not tell much difference.
@barbage wrote:

I did have to drop down from 300 to 100 on the internet, but since it is the Fiberoptic, they said I should not tell much difference.
Well, I'm happy because my DSL has gone up from 6 to 25 Mbps!!! Sometimes it even hits 29!! haha!! But I was on 6 Mbps for so many years, that I'm grateful for what I've got now!! On my street and in my area, AT&T put in the underground cables for the fiber optic about 3 weeks ago. Now they have to finish all the other connections to get it all up and running. But when it is done, I can then switch over to fiber optic, at yes, 100 Mbps. And for no cost due to these programs!!! But to me, after being on a measly 6 Mbps for so many years, that's going to seem like the speed of light! haha!! But for now, I've got my DSL at 25 Mbps, so I'm happy!! And my budget is thrilled, too!!!!!
I believe I qualified a few years ago merely on the merits of being a SNAP recipient. ATT came out and installed whatever was necessary at no charge. The speed is only 10Mbps but I'm only paying $10 plus tax a month. I didn't know it was slow until I read these posts.
@lcubed3 wrote:

I believe I qualified a few years ago merely on the merits of being a SNAP recipient. ATT came out and installed whatever was necessary at no charge. The speed is only 10Mbps but I'm only paying $10 plus tax a month. I didn't know it was slow until I read these posts.
The program a few years ago was the EBB program, (Emergency Broadband Benefit), and was switched over to this Affordable Connectivity Program March 1 of 2022. If you're still eligible, call AT&T and ask about an upgrade in your Internet speed.
(PS...10 Mbps is still faster than the 6 I had for many, many years!!)
Can I recieve a subdidized phone benefit - lifeline - if I receive the Connectivity benefit? I recieve Connectivity through Xfinity. TY, Night Owl at 4:58 pm
If I remember what I read about it correctly, the Affordable Connectivity Program is ONLY good for a $30 discount on EITHER your cell phone bill OR your internet bill, but not both. So I'm not sure if that answers your question. Hope it helps!
(PS, Since I'm with AT&T, believe it or not, THEY have a additional program called the Access Benefit Program that you AUTOMATICALLY qualify for if you are accepted for the Affordable Connectivity Program. What it does is basically WIPE OUT the remaining bill after the $30 discount, except for state taxes and fees, which varies. Mine will probably be about $5-$7/month). But if you're looking to save extra money, it might be worth it to contact AT&T in your area and ask about switching, if you've been approved for the ACP. Just an idea.
@sestrahelena wrote:

It started as a $50 credit and recently went down to $30.
Not sure where you got that information. This Affordable Connectivity Program JUST STARTED this March 1st. It's a off-shoot of the previous EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit), which ended March 1st, but people on the EBB could sign up for the new ACP before March 1st. Could be the EBB offered a $50.00 discount and when the FCC switched it over to this new ACP, that's when it changed to $30.00/month, I have no idea, as I am not aware of what the benefits of the EBB were. But the ACP program JUST STARTED at $30.00 off/month a couple of months ago. And if, perchance, you live on qualified Tribal lands, you get $75.00/month! This is for EITHER your cell phone bill OR your Internet, but not both.

For anyone who is interested, here is a FAQ page from the FCC: [www.fcc.gov]
I found my answer. [www.truconnect.com]

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new federal government program that provides discounts on monthly broadband internet access service and certain connected devices.
You can qualify for the ACP benefit through participation in the same qualifying programs as the Lifeline Program, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, as well as the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit Fund. Qualified Lifeline benefit participants are also eligible to receive the ACP benefit.
@annelehman wrote:

I found my answer. [www.truconnect.com]
That's a great example of how they will cover monthly wireless prices on a cell phone. Odd, though, that they didn't mention what the price of the discount is....it just says that there is a discount. But the FCC page lists the discount at $30.00/month. Even so, it's worth looking into for either internet or monthly cell phone fees, that's for sure!
@guysmom wrote:

@sestrahelena wrote:

It started as a $50 credit and recently went down to $30.
Not sure where you got that information. This Affordable Connectivity Program JUST STARTED this March 1st. It's a off-shoot of the previous EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit), which ended March 1st, but people on the EBB could sign up for the new ACP before March 1st. Could be the EBB offered a $50.00 discount and when the FCC switched it over to this new ACP, that's when it changed to $30.00/month, I have no idea, as I am not aware of what the benefits of the EBB were. But the ACP program JUST STARTED at $30.00 off/month a couple of months ago. And if, perchance, you live on qualified Tribal lands, you get $75.00/month! This is for EITHER your cell phone bill OR your Internet, but not both.

For anyone who is interested, here is a FAQ page from the FCC: [www.fcc.gov]

I guess it was called something else before that then, when it was $50. There were even shops posted for cell phone stores to see if the reps would try to sign you up.
I know I saw getting $50 off for at at least 6 months befoe it was $30.

Yes, just looked it up, it was previously called Emergency Broadband Benefit.

sestrahelena


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2022 03:47PM by sestrahelena.
Yes, having done a bunch of mystery shops where ACP is discussed, I know that you qualify automatically if you receive government benefits.
@lcubed3 wrote:

I believe I qualified a few years ago merely on the merits of being a SNAP recipient. ATT came out and installed whatever was necessary at no charge. The speed is only 10Mbps but I'm only paying $10 plus tax a month. I didn't know it was slow until I read these posts.
@Sestrahelena, yes, I reckon it was different when it was the EBB program. I'm just glad I qualified under this newer ACP program!!
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