FCC: Final Month for ACP, Providers to Decide Next Steps

FCC Final Month for ACP, Providers to Decide Next Steps

The FCC notifies people about the final month of the ACP program.

Here are the details of the news.

FCC: Final Month for ACP Providers to Decide Next Steps

The United States Federal Communication regulatory body, FCC ( Federal Communication Commission), has recently released a notice informing the termination of the ACP program.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a government initiative started in December 2021 to help low-income households afford internet service.

In its latest formal announcement, the FCC declared that April 2024 is the final full month of the ACP program, and the program will not operate after April.

This means the full benefits of ACP will only be available for one more month.

The commission notified about ending the ACP due to insufficient funding earlier, and the ACP stopped accepting new applications on February 7, 2024.

This time, however, the FCC has released a broader notification mentioning several details and requirements that ACP providers should follow until the program ends.

The termination of ACP raises several questions for providers, such as what they should do after the end of the ACP.

Whether they should provide partial benefits to ACP customers for May or whether they should offer a full ACP benefit in May by their own contribution.

The ACP used to offer a $30 off on monthly internet services and a one time ACP discount of $100 to get a free tablet.

FCC Final Month for ACP, Providers to Decide Next Step
FCC Final Month for ACP Providers to Decide Next Steps

FCC said the Internet service providers who participate in the ACP program need to decide what they would like to do after the program ends.

They can choose to continue offering a similar program on their own terms or exit the program entirely.

The FCC said it would inform providers by the end of March about the amount to expect per customer in May.

The commission also declared that providers must follow the ACP requirements to inform ACP receivers about the end of the program and its impact on their digital lives.

The commission requires ACP providers to send a written notice explaining the program’s end to ACP households and how this will affect their service and bills.

The FCC also advised that providers must also add another letter that “coincides with the last bill or billing cycle in which the full ACP benefit is applied.”

Furthermore, with the ACP ending soon, providers can face challenges in applying for rural broadband deployment funding in the $42.5 billion BEAD program, which requires bidding providers to offer free internet service to low-income people.

ACP offers providers the opportunity to provide low-income people with affordable services. Without ACP, providers may find it difficult to offer such services.

Meanwhile, FCC Chair Jessica Resenworcel and some government experts, consumers, and stakeholders expect ACP to get more federal funding despite any formal notice from the Biden administration.

Policy advisor Blair Levin has commented, “There are a series of other legislative vehicles that will likely move forward in the next few months, in time to extend the program before current ACP customers are faced with the choice of increased payments or losing service. But it also suggests that the odds of an ACP extension remain low.”

About the author

William Smith

William Smith is a dynamic editor at World-Wire, covering a wide range of topics including health, technology, travel, and events. Known for his ability to simplify complex subjects, he engages readers with his insightful FAQs and articles. His diverse expertise has earned him accolades, including the "Excellence in Diverse Journalism" award in 2022.

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