Affordable broadband is the number one reason for lack of broadband adoption. Successful interventions address “ability to pay” rather than “willingness to pay”. Below are programs that provide affordable broadband options both nationally and in Maine.
FCC Affordable Connectivity Program Benefit Program:
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines; or Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline; Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year; Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
Two Steps to Enroll
Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application. Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
Help From the NDEC
The National Digital Equity Center has a class to assist individuals with Applying For the Affordable Connectivity Benefit. You can participate in this one-hour class in an online live session or at various locations throughout Maine. It is free to Maine residents and out-of-state residents who have paid the year annual NDEC membership.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, please contact us at (207) 259-5010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.