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Affordable Connectivity Program Funding Expected to End Soon

In today’s world, the internet is a gateway to endless possibilities. It’s where children and adults alike learn, connect, and explore. Unfortunately, though, many households struggle to afford the broadband connectivity they need to get ahead.

To help these households pay for internet services, the FCC introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program in 2021, funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Over the past three years, the Affordable Connectivity Program has helped over 20 million people across America, including 1.65 million Texans alone, connect to educational and employment opportunities, not to mention family and friends. The program offsets internet costs by offering $30 monthly subsidies and low-cost service plans for eligible families.

In January, the Federal Communications Commission announced a wind-down of the ACP, which will stop accepting new enrollments on February 7, 2024. With the program coming to an end, nearly 23 million households all across the country might lose their internet connection.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at this historic program, when it might be expected to officially end, and what it might mean for you or someone you know here in Texas.

When is the Affordable Connectivity Program ending?

Since the federal government has not yet renewed funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, the projected ACP program end date is the end of April 2024, when the program is projected to run out of funding.

It is possible that congressional action could provide additional funding before then and keep the program running longer, but in the meantime, the FCC is preparing to wind down the ACP program this February.

What is the ACP Program Wind-Down?

As the FCC prepares for the upcoming ACP Program end date, they are putting the program on wind-down. What this means is that after Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the FCC will continue to offer benefits, but will no longer accept any new enrollments in the program.

Households eligible for ACP program discounts can still enroll in the program until 11:59 PM ET on February 7, 2024. From February 8 onward, though, no new households will be able to enroll. This wind-down date is to ensure that the ACP program can continue to use its remaining funds to provide discounted internet services for enrolled households through the end of April.

Should you still enroll in the ACP Program?

Through February 7, low-income households still have a chance to enroll in the ACP program. With Affordable Connectivity Program funding expected to end soon, newly enrolled households are likely to only see discounts through February, March, and April.

However, for families struggling to make ends meet, even just a few months of discounted internet service can make a difference in household budgets, so we would encourage eligible families to sign up ahead of the ACP program end date. Since Federal Poverty Guidelines increased in 2023, more households are eligible to apply in 2024 that may not have qualified in 2022.

How to Know If You Are Eligible for the ACP Program

If your household income is below a certain threshold or if at least one member of your household is currently receiving a government benefit, you may be eligible for the ACP program prior to its wind-down date.

TISD customers can qualify for the ACP program through TISD’s low-income internet plan.

The FCC’s criteria for eligibility include:
  • Household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Participation in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, SNAP, or Medicaid
  • Participation in Federal Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, or Lifeline

Households on qualifying Tribal lands who participate in certain assistance programs such as Tribal TANF or Tribal Head Start may also qualify.

To enroll ahead of the ACP program end date, go to GetInternet.gov (AccedeaInternet.gov en español) to submit your application and contact us to have the discount applied to your monthly internet bill.

What happens after the Affordable Connectivity Program’s end date?

According to the latest ACP program news, after the wind-down date of February 7, 2024, enrolled households will continue to receive ACP Program benefits through the end of April 2024.

After the end of April, the FCC will no longer have the funds to continue providing discounts for internet services.

Does this really mean the end of the ACP Program?

The Affordable Connectivity Program has been extremely popular since its introduction in 2021. When the FCC broke the news about the impending wind-down date and projected April shutdown, state and local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, and other government and industry leaders across the US scrambled to urge Congress to pass legislation that would at least continue to fund the program through the end of 2024.

An extra $7 billion in funding, provided by a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced by the US House and Senate, would continue to fund the ACP program and provide monthly internet service subsidies to millions of families well into 2025. However, the future of this bill is uncertain.

Stay Updated About the Affordable Connectivity Program

With Affordable Connectivity Program funding expected to end soon, 1.65 million people across Texas are at risk of being priced out of the internet services they need to connect to jobs, schools, markets, and information. However, there is some hope that the program may continue past April 2024.

We encourage eligible families to enroll ahead of the February 8 cut-off date for enrollment and keep up with the latest ACP program news to keep track of when funding will run out. We also encourage Texas residents to contact their local, state, and federal elected representatives and encourage them to support additional federal funding for the ACP program.

At TISD, we’ve dedicated our work to bringing reliable, high-speed, friendly internet to rural communities across South Texas—communities that have long gone overlooked by big ISPs, where internet and phone services have frequently been either spotty or expensive.

Our mission is to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban communities, and we’ve been grateful for the opportunities the ACP Program has provided us to help low-income families in rural South Texas catch up. If you have questions about the ACP or affordable internet options in your area, contact us today. We’re happy to help.


When is the Affordable Connectivity Program ending?

The Affordable Connectivity Program is projected to end in April 2024, as it is currently running out of funding. However, there is a possibility of additional funding through congressional action that could extend the program.

Should you still enroll in the ACP Program?

Yes, eligible low-income households are encouraged to enroll in the ACP Program before the wind-down date on February 7, 2024. Even a few months of discounted internet service can make a difference in household budgets.

How do I know if I am eligible for the ACP Program?

If your household income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if you participate in government benefit programs such as Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch, SNAP, Medicaid, or Federal Housing Assistance, you may be eligible for the ACP Program.

What happens after the Affordable Connectivity Program's end date?

After the wind-down date, enrolled households will continue to receive ACP Program benefits until the end of April 2024. However, after that, the FCC will no longer have funds to provide discounts for internet services.

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