Affordable Connectivity Program Transition

Support for NDIA Affiliates Serving ACP Participants

What Is the Future of ACP?

The ACP has ended. Congress could pass legislation to renew the program, but the future of the program is uncertain. The NDIA Team will update this page regularly, so please check back.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federally funded program that offered a monthly benefit to eligible households. Funds for ACP expired on June 1, 2024.

The FCC’s ACP Wind-Down guidance includes critical information and estimated dates. In addition, NDIA is providing guidance, based on insights from our community of affiliates, for organizations navigating this difficult period.

Infographic timeline of ACP Wind-Down updated 2.1.24

Wind-Down Resources from the FCC

graphic of clipboard with checkmarks

The FCC provides some materials on the ACP Wind-Down:

Q. When is the last day to apply to ACP?

A. Applications and enrollments will not be processed after February 7, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. FCC freezes the ACP enrollment on February 8, 2024. This means no applications for ACP will be approved after February 7, and no one approved for ACP can apply their benefit to an internet subscription after February 7.

Q. When will ACP run out of funds?

A. The FCC has announced the last fully funded month will be April 2024. A partial ACP benefit may be applied in May 2024. All households enrolled in the program will receive the benefit through the end of the program or as long as they remain enrolled.

Q. How will households participating in ACP be notified of plan changes?

A. Providers are required to notify customers three times in writing:

  • First Notice: by January 25, 2024, ACP households should have received their first written notice from their internet company informing them that the ACP is ending and the impact on their service and bill.
  • Second Notice: By March 19, 2024, ACP households will receive their second written notice from their internet company informing them that April 2024 will be the last fully funded month where the $30/month ACP discount (or $75/month ACP discount for those on Tribal Lands) will be applied to their bill.
  • Final (Third) Notice: This notice will be included as part of the last bill or billing cycle in which the full ACP discount is applied.
  • The notices must indicate that the ACP is ending and include
    • (1) the date of the last bill on which the full ACP benefit will be applied
    • (2) the amount that the household will be billed for the service once the full ACP benefit is no longer available or that the household will be subject to the provider’s undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions after the end of the ACP.
    • (3) remind ACP households of their right to change their service or opt out of continuing their service at the end of the ACP.
  • The FCC encourages ACP internet companies to send additional notices and include additional information on any low-cost internet plans or how to obtain information on low-cost plans. ACP households should closely review notices they get from their internet company.
  • The FCC and Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will raise awareness of the ACP Wind-Down, and USAC will directly notify ACP Households of the program’s end multiple times.
Q. What consumer protections apply during the ACP Wind-down?

The ACP was not intended to place additional financial burdens on eligible households, and consumer protections are designed to protect consumers from financial harm. If an individual is enrolled in ACP and receives ACP-supported services, they have the following consumer protections during the ACP Wind-down:

  • May transfer ACP benefits to other providers during the wind-down period. 
  • ISPs cannot terminate service for 90 days after the payment due date. When a household enters a delinquent status, the provider may switch the household to a lower-cost plan. However, the provider must provide advance notice to the household.
  • ISPs cannot charge early termination fees to eligible households who purchased and applied the ACP benefit to their service plans. This includes service contracts that continue to apply after the end of the ACP. Suppose a household entered into a service plan with an extended service contract, applied their ACP benefit to such a service plan, and decided to terminate the service contract early. In that case, the provider cannot charge the household an early termination fee for terminating that service contract early, even after the household stops receiving the ACP benefit.
Q. Will there be a partial ACP benefit in May 2024?

A. The FCC announced a partial continuation of ACP benefits for May but with reductions. 

Here is what households participating in ACP can expect for May:

  • If a participating household gets a monthly benefit of $30, they will get $14 in May.
  • If a participating household qualifies for the $75 Tribal benefit, they will get $35 in May.
  • If a participating household plans on using the one-time device benefit of $100, the partial benefit will be $47 in May.

Important Information for May

  • ISPs don’t have to participate in the partial benefit month and can stop giving out the ACP benefit after April. 
  • If a participating household chooses to keep its internet service after the full benefit ends in April, the ISP must inform the household if the partial benefit applies to them and how much it will be.
  • The partial benefit will only be applied to the participating household’s May bill.
  • After May, a participating household will pay the full price for their internet service set by the ISP. The ISP will also let the household know that they will be subject to their general terms and conditions following the end of ACP.

We don’t know precisely when ISPs will contact participating households in May. They might include this information with other notices households already receive, or they might send a separate message.

Q. What is Lifeline?

A. Lifeline is a federal program to help lower the monthly cost of phone and/or internet service.
The benefits of the Lifeline Program include:

  • A service discount of up to $9.25/month, or
  • A service discount of up to $34.25/month if you live on qualifying Tribal lands

You can qualify for Lifeline if your household income is up to 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if
you or someone in your household participates in certain federal assistance programs like SNAP and

Learn more about the similarities and differences between Lifeline and ACP, and the Lifeline program.


How Should Affiliates Help ACP Participants?

Practitioners should make an effort to provide transparent and clear information on the program’s uncertain future. This will help your organization remain trusted with your community members. Digital Navigators are essential in supporting ACP enrollees during this transition period. While we can’t change the ultimate outcomes of this problem, community providers can provide empathy, honest information, and trusted ongoing resources.

Watch the video: NDIA Policy Director Amy Huffman breaks down recent information from the FCC, NDIA’s guidance, and what you can expect going forward.  

View the slides from this presentation or share information with partners. 

Talking points for explaining the ACP transition to your community

  1. ACP ended on May 31, 2024.
  2. Congress could pass legislation to renew the program, but we will have a gap beginning June 1, 2024 for ACP-eligible households. If Congress acts quickly, the gap will be shorter. But, it could also be a very long gap. 
  3. Without ACP, there may be other ways to lower your internet bill, like moving to an ISP’s low-cost plan for qualified customers. 
  4. Contact your ISP for questions regarding the future of your plan.

Digital Navigators: Essential Aid for Communities Transitioning off ACP

Digital navigators will provide trustworthy information during the ACP transition and beyond.

Between the enrollment freeze starting February 8 and the date ACP ends, ACP recipients received information about the end of the program that may be unclear, confusing, or inaccessible. Digital navigators and other digital inclusion practitioners who provide one-on-one assistance to community members will be key in providing clear and neutral information from a trusted source.

Digital navigators can help prevent bill shock during the ACP transition. 

ISPs are required to notify their customers about their upcoming bill increase or service termination. Digital navigators can help community members understand these notices and the potential costs of their future bills.

Digital navigators will help community members take control of what will happen to their internet bill and service at the end of ACP.

They help community members understand what is happening with ACP and other options for continuing, canceling, or changing their internet subscription to fit their needs and their ability to pay for internet following the end of ACP. In contrast to ISPs, they have nothing to gain or lose from the community member’s choice. Because they are digital inclusion experts, they will be equipt with information about low-cost internet options that might help community members keep connectivity without the ACP discount. 

Does Your Organization Need an ACP Transition Plan?

An ACP Transition Plan is a formal or informal document that outlines processes and procedures for supporting households impacted by the changes or end of the ACP program. 

Does my organization need an ACP transition plan?

Organizations that have referred or supported households in signing up for the ACP must plan for the transition from ACP. These households may need support transitioning from the ACP benefit to a new internet plan. We need to prepare for changes that may happen quickly.

What does an ACP Transition Plan include?

The plan should include organizational and staff actions to support these households. It can consist of crucial dates for changes to the program as well as resources for ACP participants. The plan may include shared talking points for staff on the front lines, information on low-cost internet plans available in your area, maps for free wifi in your city, and information on hotspot lending programs where available. 

Do I need a timeline?

We recommend you map your planned actions on a calendar, ensuring you have time and space to communicate with participating households and align with the wind-down timeline. As we learn more, your timeline will necessarily need to adjust to the confirmed dates.

Strategies to Use in Your ACP Transition Plan

Offer Client Support

Reach out to all clients your organization has assisted in ACP enrollment to offer support during the transition.

Assist in Contacting ISPs

ACP recipients may need to contact their ISP to understand their service plans, bills, and finding low-cost plans.

Mobilize Digital Navigators

Redirect outreach efforts to communicate that your organization/digital navigators will continue to inform and help connect individuals to low-cost internet after ACP ends.

Learn How Our Community is Communicating About the Wind Down

Click the arrows to explore flyers that our affiliates are distributing to inform and support their communities.

Finding Low-Cost Internet Plans After ACP

NDIA encourages ISPs to make low-cost internet plans available. While we continue to advocate for other federal solutions, NDIA’s Free & Low-Cost Internet Plans webpage will be a useful tool for digital navigators and others working with the community to provide up-to-date information for low-cost plans in your area.

Take Action Today and Ask Congress to Renew ACP

Discover the value of ACP, use storytelling for advocacy, get tools, and take action to advocate for ACP. Check out the resources on NDIA’s ACP Advocacy page.