If you want to sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you only have a few days left.
The Federal Communications Commission will stop accepting new applications for its discount internet program on February 8.
The ACP 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 money in April. Without the discount, millions of Americans will have to pay full price for internet service. This is not a financially viable option for some households meaning they’ll likely lose access completely.
In a letter to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Thursday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel made another plea for Congress to continue funding the ACP.
“It bears repeating that today nearly 23 million households nationwide are enrolled in and benefitting from the ACP,” Rosenworcel said in the letter. “Without additional funding for the ACP, these households will lose an important benefit and are at risk of losing the internet service they rely on for work, school, health care and more.
Rosenworcel included 110-page list of how many households in each state — as well as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands — receive the ACP’s discount as of January 1, 2024.
The ACP could be salvaged by the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act which would provide a $7 billion cash influx for the program. Rosenworcel said more than 400 entities, including state, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and service providers have voiced support for the bipartisan legislation.
In the meantime, the FCC 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 — a window that’s quickly closing — it’s likely the FCC will continue readying customers and providers for the ACP’s end.
An official end date for the program has yet to be determined.