The End of ACP Impacts More Than 20 Million Low-Income Households

If you’re wondering what happened to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you’re not alone. The ACP was a federal initiative designed to help low-income households pay for home internet. It was launched in 2021 and provided monthly subsidies of $30 to $75.

The program was a lifeline for millions of Americans, but unfortunately, all new enrollments were frozen in February of 2024 and funding expected to run out by April 2024.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), over 14 million households lacked access to broadband internet in 2020. The pandemic highlighted the importance of internet access for work, school, and healthcare, and the ACP was seen as a critical tool for closing the gap. However, despite its success, the program was not designed to be permanent, and the program has begun to unwind.

While there are calls to extend the program, it is unclear if Congress will act in time to prevent the funding from running out. In the meantime, low-income households will need to find other ways to pay for internet access.

I know first hand how important and impactful this program has been to low income communities and it seems to be a total policy failure to ignore it. It will likely cost people jobs, education, and health when they need it most.

Overview of the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was a federal program that offers discounts on internet bills to qualifying families. The program was established to ensure that low-income families have access to affordable and reliable internet services. The ACP provided a discount of up to $30 per month for most families and up to $75 per month for families living on tribal lands.

It also included a one time device discount of $100 or more to a free government tablet or laptop per household.

Since its inception, the ACP has helped millions of families across the United States gain access to affordable internet services. As of 2024, the program had more than 23 million subscribers, which represents more than one in six U.S. households.

Despite its success, the ACP is facing funding challenges. The one-time infusion of $14.2 billion for the program through the bipartisan infrastructure law is projected to run out of money at the end of April 2024. Barring additional funding from Congress, April will be the last month enrolled households will receive the full benefit. Consumers had to be approved and enrolled with a service provider by February 7th, 2024, to receive the ACP benefit.

Political Efforts to Extend Funding

There have been efforts to extend the program’s funding, including a supplemental request for $6 billion from the Biden-Harris Administration in October 2023. However, as of March 2024, there has been no new funding allocated to the program.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally notified ACP providers that, due to a lack of additional funding from Congress, the agency will only be able to fully fund the program through the month of April. This means that the program will cease new enrollments on February 8, 2024, and will only be able to fully fund the program through the month of April.

It is unclear if there will be any further funding allocated to the program, and the future of the ACP remains uncertain. Families who rely on the program for internet access may need to seek other options or face potential interruptions in their service.

Future of the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program has been a vital resource for millions of Americans to access the internet and wireless services. However, the program is set to run out of funding in April 2024, and without immediate congressional action, the FCC will be forced to wind down the program.

The program has wide bipartisan support, and ACP-enrolled households are in every municipality and congressional district in the country. It is clear that the program can be saved if advocates act quickly and Congress understands that an abrupt end to the program is an emergency and takes urgent steps to extend funding.


While saddening to see the program likely coming to an end, I would urge you to consider looking into the Lifeline program for discounted cellular service or smart devices. These device benefits can still be utilized and many household devices like tablets have access to cellular data to utilize.

Consider a Lifeline provider that offers unlimited data and see if it’s possible to add any other devices that are a critical part of your day to see if you can utilize their services for free or at a discounted rate.

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