Spectrum is preparing its customers for the potential end of the Affordable Connectivity Program, ACP.
According to one of our readers, Spectrum looks like it’s sending this email to customers who participate in the aid program:
“Despite our best efforts, the federal government anticipates funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) may only remain through the month of April 2024. This funding ensures that over 23 million families, across all internet and mobile providers nationwide, have access to quality affordable high-speed internet. If the federal government does not continue to fund this program, the ACP internet credit you have been receiving on your monthly bill will end.”
This comes as the ACP, a program that provides a $30 monthly discount — $75 a month for households of qualifying tribal lands — towards internet services for eligible low-income households, is set to run out of funding in April.
If the program shuts down, more than 20 million Americans will have to pay full price for the internet or lose access completely. In today’s digital world, dozens of aspects of daily life require connectivity like paying bills, telehealth, and more. Not having internet access can cripple a household.
The ACP may yet be saved if Congress adopts the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, which would provide the government program with a $7 billion cash influx.
Prior to the proposed legislation, the Federal Communications Commission said it expects to start “orderly wind-down procedures” to give participating households and providers enough time prepare of the impending end of the program.
Until funding is secured, it’s likely the FCC will continue readying customers and providers for the ACP’s end.
The Commission said it will require providers must give “specific and frequent” notices to households receiving the discount “to avoid consumer confusion and minimize the risk of a consumer bill shock.”
Spectrum’s email is likely an example of this requirement.
The FCC will stop accepting new sign-ups for ACP enrollment starting on February 7 to “slow the depletion of remaining funds” and “stabilize the number of households affected by the end of the ACP.”
In addition, the FCC will determine a projected end date for the program and provide the necessary information to enrolled households.