A new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is in plance and Mainers can check to see if they qualify for the new program’s monthly discounts on internet service.

The ACP, created through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to be permanent iteration of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, provides economically vulnerable households with a discount on their monthly internet bills. In addition, the ACP expands eligibility criteria, increases the consumer protections in the program, and is designed to serve a longer period once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

“The pandemic exposed how wide the digital divide is in this country,” Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said. “Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which I proudly supported, Mainers struggling to afford internet service will have access to this vital support through the pandemic and beyond. If you’re a Mainer who needs help with the cost of your monthly internet bill, I urge you to see if you qualify for this program.”

The new ACP provides:

• Up to a $30/month discount on the monthly cost of internet service
• Up to a $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands
• A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

The ACP replaces the EBB, a $3.2 billion program that was created in the COVID relief measures enacted in December 2020 to give struggling families a discount on their monthly internet bills during the pandemic. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in November, included $14.2 billion to create the ACP, expanding and extending the program’s relief.

Households already enrolled in EBB as of Dec. 31, 2021, were able to transition into the ACP beginning on March 1, if they continue to meet eligibility criteria for the new program. Eligible households not already enrolled in the EBB can enroll in the new ACP by contacting their internet service provider and asking to sign up, and they can learn more — including whether they qualify – by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/acp.

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