How to Apply for Affordable Connectivity Program Laptop

A laptop is a portable computer that allows you to carry out various tasks such as performing complex activities such as mathematical calculations. People also use laptops to work at home and in their offices too. Again, students can use the devices to carry out their studies. Some use the machines for entertainment when they play games or watch movies. However, not everyone can afford a laptop since it is expensive. We will check how you can get an Affordable Connectivity Program laptop later.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal benefit program that offers affordable broadband to eligible Americans. The program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a program that Congress introduced during the Covid’19 era. They put it in place to help those seriously affected by Covid’19 access affordable broadband. That way, people could work at home, study at home, and stay entertained.

The federal government ended the project once Covid’19 was no longer affecting Americans’ economic life. However, they saw the need to introduce the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), so that eligible people could continue enjoying affordable broadband. ACP was slightly different from the EBB service in that it raised the qualification by income from at or below 135% to at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline.

How does the Affordable Connectivity Program work

The Affordable Connectivity Program from the Federal Communication Commission is a benefit program that helps ensure that all households can afford the necessary broadband for work, healthcare, school, and much more.

The benefit gives the eligible consumers a discount of up to $30 every month and up to $75 every month for qualifying households on Tribal lands for internet service. Again, qualifying households can get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet from participating providers. They should contribute more than $10 and less than $50 to cater to the purchase price and get the subsidy.

One thing you must understand about the Affordable Connectivity Program is that the service is limited to one monthly service discount plus one device discount per household.

Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program

A household qualifies for the ACP program if its income is 200% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Also, a household can qualify for the benefits program if a member meets at least one of the criteria below.

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for any service provider’s existing low-income internet program
  • Participates in any of the following assistance programs.
    • The National School Lunch Program/the School Breakfast Program
    • SNAP
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • WIC
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
    • Lifeline

SNAP was formerly Food Stamps, although some people prefer the earlier name. Remember that you only need to be a beneficiary of one benefit program to qualify. Therefore, eligible households can get free laptops with Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, or any other qualifying program. A household can also qualify if they live on Qualifying Tribal lands and participate in one of the following assistance programs.

  • Tribal TANF
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Head Start (income-based)

How to apply for the ACP program

There are two ways you can enroll in the program. They include visiting Affordable Connectivity to submit an online or mail-in application, contacting your preferred participating service provider, and selecting a plan. In whichever way, you will have the discount applied to your monthly bill or apply directly on your service provider’s platform.

How do you apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program laptop

Once you apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you only need to apply for the one-time discount, which can go up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating service providers. You will need to contribute at least $10 and less than $50 to cater to the purchase price to get the subsidy.

Once you apply and contribute the required amount, your service provider will then issue you with a free laptop. The only disadvantage with the aid is that you must contribute something, which means you will not get the device completely free. Also, you may not get a quality laptop due to the small amount the government subsidizes.

What documents are needed to apply for the ACP program

You need to produce various documents when applying for the benefits program to show proof of the following.

  • Qualifying Assistance Program Participation
  • Household Income
  • Identity Verification
  • Address
  • Duplicate Address
  • Emancipated Minor

To show proof of your household income, you will provide details such as;

  • Prior year’s state, Tribal, or federal tax return
  • Current income statement from your employer. You can bring a paycheck stub
  • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • A Social Security statement of benefits
  • Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
  • Divorce decree or a similar official document showing your income
  • A retirement/pension statement of benefits

The identity documents can be any of the following.

  • A valid government, state, military, or Tribal ID
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • U.S. Driver’s license
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization
  • Government assistance program document
  • Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) document

Moreover, you also need to show proof of address by providing any of the following

  • Driver’s license or any other valid government, state, or Tribal ID
  • Utility bill
  • Most recent W-2 or tax return
  • Mortgage or lease statement

You have to submit copies of documents for your application to go ahead. You should make copies or take photos of your documents using any machine, scanner, camera, or smartphone. You’ll always avoid sending any blurry, dark copies or pictures and should never, at any given time, submit original copies of your documents.

Can I get two laptops per household

Usually, the Affordable Connectivity Program is only limited to one person per household. That means only one person per eligible family can apply. If you apply to two or more people from the same household, you risk being disqualified from the program.

You may even face the law for deceiving the state. The same applies to the Lifeline program, which only allows one person per household to apply for the aid program. Again, the service is non-transferable, meaning you cannot move it from one household to another.

Which service providers offer the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Federal Communications Commission offers its services through various service providers. You should choose a suitable service provider once you qualify for the benefits program. The following are the various ACP service providers.

i) Assurance Wireless

The carrier allows you to receive free unlimited data, texts, unlimited calling, and 10GB per month for mobile hotspot data on the Assurance Wireless Unlimited plan. The platform operates on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. You can also get a free Android smartphone applicable to new customers. You also get a free Scam Block, Sam Shield with free Scam ID, and a free Caller ID.

ii) City Communications

The carrier offers you 700 minutes for local/long-distance calls, three-way calling, call forwarding, free Voice-mail, and GPS capability. Remember, you can also request a government subsidy to purchase a laptop from the service provider.

iii) Q Link Wireless

Q Link Wireless is among the service providers that offer free laptops for low-income families through the Affordable Connectivity Program. Even though the laptops are not entirely free, the amount you contribute is little, which is almost the same as getting the devices for free.

The ACP benefits from the company include free unlimited text, talk, and data on their 4G LTE/5G nationwide network. You can get a new tablet with a microphone, webcam, and Wi-Fi connectivity for a small co-pay of $10.01.

iv) StandUp Wireless

Another service provider that offers the Affordable Connectivity program services is StandUp Wireless. You can claim a one-time-only discount of up to $100 on devices such as laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. The FCC requires the company to charge you at least $10.01. Also, you can get your ACP discount on any available StandUp Wireless service plan and enjoy discounted services from the service provider.

v) TracFone Wireless

If you qualify for ACP, you can choose TracFone Wireless to get discounted services. You can get unlimited talk and text plus 3GB of Data to link with your loved ones, video conferences, and virtual classrooms. You can also benefit from the ACP discount to purchase a laptop and use it for your day-to-day activities.

vi) Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile also offers the Affordable Connectivity Program benefits. You can benefit from the government subsidy to buy a laptop and a 7 GB per month unlimited data tablet plan, phone plan, or mobile hotspot plan.

Bottom line

A laptop is an electronic device that allows you to perform various activities such as studying online, working, watching movies, and playing games, among other activities. Since laptops are expensive, most people cannot afford them.

The government offers subsidies to purchase computers through the Affordable Connectivity Program. You only need to register with an ACP service provider of your choice and apply for the discount.